Fás trainees failing to get jobs


Fewer than 25 per cent of Fás trainees in the past five years have managed to get jobs after their courses, according to Government figures.

Just 22.91 per cent of all 403,121 Fás graduates from 2005 until this year got employment at the end of their training.

The peak was in 2007, when 37.1 per cent or 23,498 trainees, got jobs. This year 14,256 or 13.7 per cent, of the 111,423 people who did a Fás course got a job.

The information was released in response to parliamentary questions from Fine Gael TD for Waterford John Deasy. He warned that the target of a Fás traineeship “can’t just be to get them off welfare for six months”.

Ireland compares very poorly with job training agencies from other similar countries such as Scotland. In the year from April 1st, 2009, 48.7 per cent of the 5,528 people who completed courses with that country’s state training agency Skills Development Scotland, got jobs, Mr Deasy said.

An International Monetary Fund position paper has recommended that further resources be given to Fás to provide efficient job search assistance, but Mr Deasy warned that Ireland’s state training agency must do “an analysis of long-term sustainability of jobs following training, and after placements”, for such funding to be given.

"Generic courses aren’t going to have a long-term impact on unemployment in this climate," he said, adding that training should be “targeted towards internships in specific sectors such as information technology and pharmaceuticals, when in fact they’re still doing courses in the construction area”.

The Waterford TD insisted that “we need a cost-benefit analysis of how much it costs to train people and then balance that against successful long-term placement. We need a constant reassessment of the value of courses and schemes.”

"Only 13.7 per cent of trainees so far this year getting jobs is understandable given the levels of unemployment”, but he said the Department of Education, which has responsibility for Fás, did not have the data about how many of those who got jobs were in long-term sustainable employment.

The Scottish jobs development and training agency “can identify the percentage of all people trained who ended up with long-term employment. “But the department makes a point of saying ‘we can’t do that’. They admit as much.”

Fás and the department “don’t have the data. They don’t know how successful these courses are. They have no real data sources to identify how successful the courses are in terms of long-term job sustainability,” Mr Deasy said.