Seanad debates

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Photo of Colm BurkeColm Burke (Fine Gael)

I do. If we are to provide services to our citizens we must have money to pay for them. Last week I met the manager of a hotel which pays €10,000 a week in commercial rates. This is the reality of what the commercial sector pays to local authorities. We need to get real; if we want services we must have money to pay for them. We can no longer borrow ad infinitum and decide we will not pay for the services.

Yesterday, I tabled a matter on the Adjournment on the globalisation fund. In his reply the Minister of State outlined that the retraining courses people can take do not have to be provided by VECs or State educational institutions. This is a welcome development but, according to people seeking retraining, many of the training courses being offered are out of date. If we have a debate on education, we should address the issue of upskilling the trainers who are supposed to upskill those who require retraining. Many of the courses have not been changed in recent years and they are out of date. For example, I was advised by an employer last weekend that he would not take on someone from a VEC secretarial course because audio-typing training is not provided. That basic skill should be provided for anyone doing a secretarial course. It sounds like someone has sat back for years and not done anything about bringing in modern training techniques and providing training for new skills required for people entering the private sector. I ask that this issue be included in a debate on the education sector in the not too distant future because we urgently need to review the training provided by VECs and other service providers being paid for by the taxpayer.


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