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A problem with FÁS

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  • 25-07-2011 6:30pm
    #1
    Site Banned Posts: 1,678 ✭✭✭


    I'll try to make this as succinct and non-rambly as possible.


    I have a HnD in Computer and Classical Animation from BCFE, and a B.A. In Animation from Dun Laoghaire institute of Art, Design and Technology. Five years of college in all. As we all know, it's been a fairly rough 3 years. In the last three years, I have managed to work 6 months, 10 weeks, another 10 weeks, and one week in different job positions. I was never fired, these were temporary contracts. The jobs were mostly in my field, but I also worked as a Christmas temp in a retail store last Christmas. In the past 3 years I have been applying for every job I could do, in my field of study or not.
    At the end of April I finished the six month block after my contract finished, and find myself unemployed again.


    It is now the end of July, and no work has materialised. So I visited FÁS last week, in the hope that I could do a course to train in a similar area, that has a lot of jobs going (Web Design). I met with an officer, and was told straight away that she could not in good conscience refer me to another course, as I had applied for another course last year, been offered a place, but never showed up. Which is fair enough. Except for the fact I had not been contacted in any way, shape or form about the fact that I had been offered a place in the course. I told the officer this. Even if I had received a letter/phone call/email, I would not have been able to partake, as I got two jobs right around that period; but I would have at least notified them as to my inability to attend had I known. But as I never received any notification about the course and I was working not one job but two (the sixth month block full-time, and the Christmas temp job part-time; often leaving the full-time gig at 5 and going straight to the other job), I forgot about the whole thing. But I never received notification of any kind.


    So I had to convince my FÁS officer that this was the case. That was the first battle. But then the course I wanted was not available in Finglas, as I had read on fás.ie, perhaps because that course had finished registration. I was told that the course was available in Loughlinstown, which I had never heard of, and was told was too far, so in a panic I opted for another course, that I really have no interest in doing. On Friday, I travelled to the Loughlinstown FÁS centre from my house to see how long it would take. It took an hour and a half. So today I returned to my FÁS office are requested to switch, and take on the course I wanted after all. Again, the very same FÁS officer began dragging her heels. The latest argument was that I was not qualified enough for this course. Which is simply not true. These are the requirements:


    Requirements

    • Applicants must have reached the current statutory school leaving age.
    • Leaving Certificate, or equivalent Advanced IT Skills
    • Must be creative, efficient and knowledgeable with Graphic Design principles. Capable of working on own initiative and as part of a team. Problem solving abilities and a flair for troubleshooting. Attention to detail.
    • Essential to have high degree of interpersonal and communication skills. An analytical approach to problem solving and decision making is essential. Good diagnostic skills. Self motivated, ability to work on ones own and complete tasks to a deadline.
    • Experience in Graphic Design or Fine Art Experience in working in PhotoShop or similar Graphic editing program Relevant experience in Public Relations, Advertising or ICT is desireable
    • Possess keyboard skills (essential) Portfolio of design work to show competence in a design field (essential) Knowledge of, or a skill in, electronic or manual page layout.






    I have a degree and a FETAC Higher National Diploma in an Art field, so not only do I possess the skillset from the art side of things, I possess typing skills and other communications related requirements because you have to partake in those as part of a FETAC course. She asked if I had any experience in Photoshop, clearly in the intent that I hadn't and that would be the end of that, however I use Photoshop everyday, and have used it in a professional capacity. She then said I had no experience in IT. I said that this was not a requirement. I checked the requirement, and it said that I had to have experience in IT OR a Leaving Certificate, which I have. Now correct me if I am wrong, but surely the point of this course is to ACQUIRE IT skills, as its a Web Design Course. I am however learning HMTL myself, which I explained to the officer, so I do have some IT knowledge, and even have a website. But again, previous IT experience is not and should not be a requirement for this course. But she would not listen, told me she was not putting me on the list on the grounds I had no IT experience, and essentially hung up the phone.


    So she refused me a place on the waiting list. So I called Loughlinstown FÁS myself, in the hope that I could talk to the lecturer teaching the course. I felt that he would definitely see that I was eligible for this course, and could provide a reference, or speak to the officer on the phone. Unfortunately he is out of the office for the week. I have gone to the extreme of contacting the studio I was last working with to write me a reference to say that of course I fulfil the requirements of the course.


    I'm sure that this officer has just taken a dislike to me; most likely because of the course I didn't attend in December, but she won't listen to reason when I tell her I never received any notification on the place. .I tried to get referred to her superior, but she refused to let me talk to her. The problematic officer seems to be the only one interviewing people. I don't know what to do. I really want this course. Is there any body I can contact for help in this matter? How do I lodge a complaint? Will they even pay it any attention? The course starts on the 15th of next month, I have very little time left.


    I'm fairly livid about this to be honest. Any help would be very much appreciated.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 44,080 ✭✭✭✭Micky Dolenz


    Moved from AH.


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,678 ✭✭✭Andy!!


    Moved from AH.

    Cheers thanks, never would have thought to put it in State Benefits :) Won't it get less traffic here though?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,996 ✭✭✭✭gozunda


    Andy!! wrote: »
    ...
    I'm sure that this officer has just taken a dislike to me; most likely because of the course I didn't attend in December, but she won't listen to reason when I tell her I never received any notification on the place. .I tried to get referred to her superior, but she refused to let me talk to her. The problematic officer seems to be the only one interviewing people. I don't know what to do. I really want this course. Is there any body I can contact for help in this matter? How do I lodge a complaint? Will they even pay it any attention? The course starts on the 15th of next month, I have very little time left.


    I'm fairly livid about this to be honest. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Andy I sympathise

    FAS as an organistation are answerable to no one but themselves!

    The suggested route on the FAS site is to make a complaint to the person youy are complainung about....

    As an organistation I have found them corrupt to the core. FAS would appear to be soley a vehicle to keep those in the organistation employed.


    I would suggest that you go straight to the top because talking to the monkeys in the organistation will get you no where. Make a submission to the ombudsman outlining your case, and even if I dont like saying it complain to your local "politician".


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