Front-running Irish political party Fine Gael has revealed details of a plan which leaders say will keep thousands of young Irish people from emigrating in search of work.
The party says it would offer more than 20,000 people one-year private, public and voluntary sector work placements and mandate the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to create another 5,000 work experience places through its clients.
Leo Varadkar, the party’s communication spokesman, said that some of Ireland’s best talents are emigrating because of the lack of job opportunities.
He said Fine Gael has plans to introduce a training voucher scheme “so people on the dole can access training that meets their individual needs.”
“We want to eliminate the practice of forcing unemployed people to attend redundant, unnecessary or unsuitable training courses for the sake of it,” Varadkar said.
Fergus O’Dowd, the the party’s education spokesman, said Fine Gael would attempt to overhaul Fás, the government training agency. He said that an additional 17,000 second chance education places would also be created.
“Participants will receive a premium payment of about €20 per week on top of their social welfare payment, a €500 contribution towards the cost of books and a completion bonus of around €3,000,” O’Dowd said.