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Government Embargo Severely Hinders Thurles FÁS Office

The Government has serious questions to answer regarding the present inefficient running of the Thurles FÁS office.
Phone calls to this office go unanswered daily, while people attempting to gain access, find the doors locked and this during a period when 6,511 people sign on the dole in North Tipperary.

FAS-Thurles FÁS (Foras Áiseanna Saothair) office now appears to open only to the public on a Tuesday from 2.15pm to 4.30pm, while FÁS see National Employment Action Plan (NEAP) referrals from Social Welfare on Tuesday mornings and all day Wednesday.

The reason for this, according to Fine Gael Deputy Noel Coonan, is the Government’s recruitment embargo, which is really hitting front line staff and is causing a domino effect and greatly effecting the public who require their services most at this time.

Deputy Coonan stated:
“I am aware that the secretary in the FÁS office on Friar Street, has retired and cannot be replaced because of the recruitment embargo and the manager is retiring today Friday 30th October. It’s my understanding that there is one only employee left working there and she is on a 12 month contract from Dublin.  At present there appears to be no effective service plan in place.
I’ve been told that phones are ringing out and irate people are banging on the doors of the Thurles office in Friar Street. Their pleas are going unanswered because the office is hugely understaffed due to the Government’s recruitment embargo. It’s not FÁS staff that are at fault, they work as efficiently as is possible under the present circumstances, but  they are let down and put under immense stress by those who govern them.
I am aware that people travel from a large part of North Tipperary to Thurles FÁS office seeking career advice on information and training.  Under the present setup they are understandably agitated by the quality of service available. This is a disgraceful way to treat people, as they try to find a route out of these worrying recessionary times.
With 6,511 people currently on the dole in North Tipperary, we now need Government intervention more than ever. We saw gross over-spending at the top by former FÁS CEO Rody Molloy and as usual it’s the grass roots and the people on the ground who are left totally neglected.
I have contacted the Regional Director for FÁS in the Mid-West, seeking clarification as to how and when staff for this necessary provision of services at the Thurles FÁS office will be put in place and now await details of  their  future strategy in relation to this very serious matter.” concluded the Deputy.

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