Several years into the crisis a majority of unemployed people are stuck on the dole long term with eroding skills and facing more competition from young graduates. Meanwhile our state training agencies continue to spend billions on make-work programs for themselves, with recent ESRI reports showing that taking many long term FÁS courses reduces your chances of getting a job.
Government spends €2,500 per year on training for every unemployed person, but it is money mostly wasted on administration and less than useful programs.
TOld Politics Failure
At the beginning of the fifth year of the crisis the state training agency still advertises as many courses for people seeking to get into the decimated construction industry as the booming technology one. The type of courses that reap the most benefit to unemployed people – high skilled courses, like computer programming – represent less than a tenth of training efforts.
Five years of successive failure to turn the state training agency from a junket carrier and make-work program into one that can actually help unemployed people to get a job. Billions sent down the drain and lives wasted by politicians playing their old game of committees, reports and inaction.
Aaron’s plan will see the state bureaucracy broken up in favour of direct grants to unemployed people to take courses provided by our existing education sector and the burgeoning private higher education sector. Larger grants will be given to courses that meet the economic needs of the country and will make it more likely for a person to get a job at the end. These programs will be linked to industry.
The Great Skills Drive
- Scrap the state training bureaucracy, diverting its administration costs directly to education
- Provide an annual grant to unemployed people to get high quality training
- Stimulate our existing and the burgeoning private higher education sector with an influx of new money
- Direct greater funds to courses more likely to benefit the individual and the economy and finish up in a job
- Turn long term unemployment into a positive opportunity to learn valuable new skills