29 Jun 2022

Flaherty slams VTOS cut in Longford


Fianna Fáíl general election candidate Cllr Joe Flaherty has slammed the decision of ETB chiefs to phase out VTOS for Longford students

Education chiefs have come under fire following a decision to phase out a key back to employment scheme for those currently out of work.

Fianna Fáíl Cllr and general election candidate Joe Flaherty has lambasted senior officials within Longford-Westmeath ETB surrounding its move to cut its Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) for adults in Longford town from September 2020.

Cllr Flaherty said he had been made aware of the move in recent days and wasted little time in launching a stinging attack on government chiefs.

“There is clear evidence that points to the ETB service being phased out in the county. It’s particularly disconcerting to learn that the service is being phased out in Longford but will continue in Westmeath,” he said.

“The closure flies in the face of the government's limp support for a transition programme for Bord na Móna and ESB workers.

“Four Government Minister’s recently came to the county to peddle a line on a half-hearted and poorly thought out transition programme.

“They talk a good talk of alternatives and training programmes but are scaling down the VTOS service in Longford.”

In a statement, the Department of Education said the announcement came after a review by LWETB management which uncovered a” dramatic decline in learner numbers” over recent years.

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