Thursday, 23 October 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
64. Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the decision of FÁS to close the jobs club in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary with effect from 21 November 2008; if she will request FÁS to reconsider the decision in view of the service being provided by the club and the high level of unemployment in Carrick-on-Suir; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36727/08]
65. Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if further to Parliamentary Question No. 80 of 25 September 2008 regarding the FÁS decision to close the jobs club in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary if her attention has been drawn to the fact that under the contract signed between FÁS and the jobs club in 2000, that participants for the formal training course would be provided by way of direct referral from FÁS, in order that the club itself cannot be blamed solely for failure to meet targets set by FÁS; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36728/08]
66. Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will intervene directly with FÁS and request them to reconsider the plan to close the jobs club in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36729/08]
I understand that in early 2008 FÁS in completing its annual review of the Jobs Club programme raised concerns about the capacity of the Carrick-on-Suir Jobs Club to meet the agreed targets. Representatives were advised by FÁS that if there was no progress towards achieving the targets funding would be discontinued.
FÁS will continue to run the current suite of programmes in Carrick-on-Suir, i.e. three Community Employment (CE) Projects with 62 places, a Job Initiative programme, with 5 places and the Local Employment Service. In addition FÁS has announced a Core Employment Skills programme which will start in Carrick-on-Suir in November.
FÁS is committed to supporting those in Carrick on Suir who are unemployed and has initiated discussions with other community interests in the town to determine what alternative programmes would attract potential participants and address the needs of unemployed people.
67. Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her plans to deal with the high level of unemployment in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36730/08]
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Mary Coughlan): The Enterprise Development agencies under the aegis of my Department, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, together with the local County Enterprise Board, are responsible for promoting indigenous enterprise and attracting foreign direct investment to the area. The bodies are actively involved in addressing industrial development in South Tipperary in conjunction with the local County Development Board.
I am aware that the County Manager in South Tipperary has set up a working group to deal with unemployment issues in the area. Local groups have been set up in towns in order to prepare a development plan. Enterprise Ireland will be attending the next meeting of the working group which is scheduled for early next month. The working group meets on a regular basis and reports to the Development agencies periodically. This group has been assured that Enterprise Ireland will be available when and where the group feels it is appropriate.
The Tipperary South County Enterprise Board is continuing to support enterprise development in Carrick-on-Suir through the provision of both direct and indirect assistance and is ensuring that available funds are targeted to maximise entrepreneurial development.
In the context of promoting foreign direct investment, IDA Ireland works closely with the educational institutions in the region to ensure that the skill-sets necessary to attract high value added employment to South Tipperary are being developed. The agency’s strategy for South Tipperary, which has been agreed with South Tipperary County Council, is to concentrate future economic development in Clonmel in the first instance, and to develop the town as a first-class location for overseas investment. In this regard, Carrick-on-Suir is very well located to capitalize on its position between Clonmel and Waterford. The agency also works with the Industrial Training agency FÁS to ensure that the needs of industry in the areas of training and up-skilling are being met. Indeed, the full services of FÁS are available to any workers who wish to avail of the agency’s services.
I am satisfied that the structures that are currently in place in South Tipperary will continue to address economic development and job creation both in Carrick-on-Suir and South Tipperary in general.
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