Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Education and Skills
FÁS Training Programmes
Question 189: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason an organisation in Balbriggan, County Dublin (details supplied) has not been selected by FÁS as a location for training of unemployed persons in 2012; if she will have this issue reviewed as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7987/12]
I am informed that the FÁS Training Centre located in Baldoyle has responsibility for the operation and administration of contracted training in North Dublin which includes the Balbriggan area.
In 2011, FÁS Baldoyle Training Centre conducted a performance review of its training portfolio and provision provided over the previous two years. This review in conjunction with the FÁS training strategy and corporate objectives has determined the 2012 training portfolio and the allocation of training provision.
In light of the prevailing economic conditions it is imperative for training courses to achieve critical performance measurements to justify continuing budget allocation. The FÁS analysis of the courses delivered in the Balbriggan area highlighted that in some cases the required training outcomes, particularly placement into employment were not being achieved. Consequently, the initial 2012 allocation of training provision located in the Balbriggan area has been adjusted from the 2011 provision.
I have been informed that a number of contributing factors were taken into consideration when allocating funds for the allocation of contracted training provision. With the closure of the FÁS Cabra Training Centre and the FÁS City Training Centre in recent years the provision of direct training facilities has resulted in a greater dependence on contracted training. A greater number of urban dwelling clients no longer have direct public transport routes to the remaining FÁS training locations. However, Balbriggan residents can access FÁS Baldoyle Training Centre directly by mainline rail, within the payable travel allowance. If individuals are successful in obtaining employment there is no guarantee the jobs will be located in the Balbriggan hinterland.
FÁS selects approved training contractors through an equitable and transparent procurement process although, it must be born in mind that training contracts are not automatically awarded to particular training contractors located in a specific area. I am however, given to understand that Balbriggan Enterprise Development Group remains on the FÁS approved tender list of contracted trainers and will be provided with the opportunity to tender for training provision in a number of geographical areas, in accordance with their approved areas of expertise and competence.
The FÁS Baldoyle Training Centre contracted training provision and allocation is continually reviewed and the provision of training in the Balbriggan area will continue to be considered in this process.