In its ‘Jobs Initiative’ submission, the Pitman Training network is calling on the Government to establish an independently administered skills fund to subsidise course fees for any training course that delivers industry-specific training.
The Pitman Training network trained more than 1,100 students in Ireland last year and more than 69pc of its graduates found employment after finishing their courses, when surveyed last November.
“To the best of my knowledge, that’s higher than any other training institution in Ireland,” said Tomas Finneran, spokesperson for Pitman Training in Ireland.
FÁS recently reported that just 13.7pc of its students found employment after completing a course in 2010 while in Scotland the equivalent jobs development and training agency converted 48.7pc of its students into employment following training.
Support needed for independent training providers
“For too long now, we’ve heard our ministers talking about the importance of the ‘knowledge economy’ and fourth-level education as the key to prosperity in Ireland. While there’s no doubt that it is very important to support and fund our universities and their brightest graduates in continuing to work at the cutting edge, what’s really needed in Ireland today – for the vast majority – are practical and productive skills that employers will demand from their future employees.”
Finneran is concerned that the Jobs Initiative will only address State-sponsored training courses and may exclude providers such as Pitman Training.
“The plan is rumoured to include a promise of up to 20,000 training, education and internship places for graduates, newly qualified apprentices and the long-term unemployed. However, if these places are focused exclusively on State-sponsored colleges and institutions, then this jobs initiative will fail the very people who are most eager to take responsibility and find a new career.”