22 November 2008

FÁS warns of a serious Employment Crisis while the Taoiseach keeps waffling on as usual

Ireland's self-serving and pompous training and employment authority FÁS is warning that "the number of people employed in Ireland could fall by more than 100,000 next year".

And what is FÁS doing about it? Absolutely nothing!

As long as unemployment rises, their own jobs are by far the safest in the whole country and they can keep enjoying their cosy existence as a well-financed State agency, which spends close to half a million Euros on 'away weekends' for its staff and nearly € 150,000 on office flowers. But then again, with an annual budget of over € 1 billion only the best is good enough for the well-paid, but entirely useless administrators of the nation's unemployed.

The figures suggested by FÁS would be four times more than the annual fall in employment registered in the Quarterly National Household Survey of the Central Statistics Office (CSO). (for details see my earlier entry below)

Commenting on the economic situation, FÁS economist Brian McCormick has said that "the 'credit crunch' is now beginning to hit employment in the financial sector, while the slowdown in consumer spending has adversely affected job prospects in the retail sector". (Now, there is a rare pearl of wisdom! One cannot help but wonder what FÁS needs an economist for in the first place. They are not a bank or financial institution.)
FÁS also says that the rate of unemployment could exceed 8.5% next year. (How fortunate for them. They will be really busy in 2009.)

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Brian Cowen (photo) said it was "obvious there is a very difficult economic situation that is affecting our economy the same as others".
But he and the government were "trying to minimise job losses".

One has to congratulate the Taoiseach on his quite exceptional observation and perception skills. He has indeed noticed that we are in "a very difficult economic situation". Well, well... I suppose they do have a newspaper in Co. Offaly after all.

But with the "minimisation of job losses" he seems not to be up to date.

Only yesterday it became known that thanks to his new regulations and Brian Lenihan's budget cuts Donegal County Council alone will have to sack 238 of their workers, and not only the 71 which were already told about it the day before. (see my entries of November 20th & 21st)

I have a very simple solution for the problem, and a suggestion that would indeed minimise job cuts in Ireland. If Brian Cowen and his government would resign (and call a general election), there would only about 45 jobs lost, but the whole country - and with it many thousands of jobs - could be saved.

The Emerald Islander


Anonymous said...

FAS is a real bunch of lulas (as Bertie would say).
I registered with them more than 20 years ago, as I have a few unusual skills and speak several languages. I am still on their register (I checked recently), but in all those years I did not receive one single job offer, invitation to courses or anything else from them.
Seems that all the money was spent on the first class junkets for the CEO and his senior staff members. So there's nothing left then for someone like me.


You are not the only one with such experience. I know plenty of people who never got any help from FAS, even though they were qualified for it and could have done with some help.

The whole scandal has exposed a system of cosy self-indulgence for the top civil servants, who lived like kings at our expense. And many ordinary Irish people suffered neglect for it.

In the bad times of recession things are more likely to get worse. So I think we should close FAS and get a new, better and more efficient agency.

Thanks for your comment.

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