Re-branding the only solution to shaking off negative image
Fine Gael Cork Senator, Jerry Buttimer, said the numerous revelations relating to FÁS in recent months has resulted in irreversible damage being done to the organisation’s reputation which can only be overcome by a complete overhaul of the company image.
“There has never been a greater need for the services of FÁS but as it stands the company image is synonymous with corruption, waste and corporate greed. For it to operate effectively in the future, the company name, corporate image, logo and branding must be amended.
“Sadly, we now find ourselves in the unfortunate position that the vast amount of good work being done in training centres throughout the State, such as the one in Rossa Avenue in Cork, and via community employment schemes in every parish, sporting club and community organisation, have been tarnished by the activities of a minority.
“The pride of the workers and instructors at FÁS is second to none but the reality is that the reputation of the Agency is tarnished beyond repair. Recent revelations regarding the pay bill for FÁS management which rose twice as fast, at 77%, as that for non-managers and the number of managers who increased by 71% clearly illustrates this.
“The Committee of Public Accounts, under the chairmanship of Deputy Allen, did the State a great service in its investigations in this area. There was something rotten in FÁS – a fact that any right thinking and fair minded person will acknowledge.
“We must have a training authority that has, as its sole motivation and objective, the upskilling and retraining of people for the purpose of helping them to enter the world of work. We must have an agency that embodies the trust and confidence of the people. In FÁS all we have is an institution which has the contempt of, and is derided by, the people.
“Through the Labour Services (Amendment) Bill 2009, which is currently before the House, we have an opportunity to ensure that FÁS is constructed in a way that people will buy into the idea that its training regime is an effective provider of re-education and upskilling of the highest quality. However, in order for the organisation to begin to rectify its public perception and to convey that it is serious about reform, an overhaul of its corporate image must be the first step.”