Deputy Ruairi Quinn has called for Fas to be abolished and its budget diverted to the IT sector. While I share his frustration with the running of Fas, it is, I believe, a serious mistake to think that it can easily be replaced.
Just as the IT’s and the universities have different and complementary roles, so Fas fills a vital slot in the educational landscape. No-one else has the same combination of guidance, staged training, and
technical options. We need it, we need it to work well, accountably and efficiently, and we need it more than ever now as the economy crumbles. The only chance for many people to get the skills they need is Fas, or something very like it.
TD’s need to hold Fas, and the rest of the Education sector, accountable for delivery, and efficiency. Soundbite policies got us into the present mess, but will not suffice to get us out of it.
(Irish Times Saturday Sept 4th)