"Good news" today on the job front - you will remember that SR Technics shut last year, leaving over one thousand out of work, and a number of apprentices with unfinished qualifications. Well, the Government, in its eternal wisdom and continuing desire to somehow create the illusion of given a rat's-ass about the unemployed, has announced that the Air Corps will be taking on 30 apprentices to finish their training with the Defence Forces.
That's a relief for the young men and women who will now be able to gain their qualification, and given the very tough year the former SRT employees have had, they deserve some respite. But it also represents further muddle-headed thinking from the Government, and either a lack of understanding or lack of interest as to how you actually create jobs. By taking these apprentices on with the military, at the tax-payers expense, we are merely substituting wealth-creating private sector jobs with a further drain on the over-burdened exchequer. Will these apprentices have to serve with the Air Corps when they have completed their training? If so, then was there an open competition for the apprenticeships, or were the spots gifted to former SR Technic's employees to save face for the Government? If the new apprentices do not have to serve with the Air Corps, then where is the benefit for our military air wing in providing this training?
If only there was somewhere else for these apprentices to complete their course - it's a real pity Ireland doesn't have one of the world's largest airlines headquartered in Dublin! I'm sure if that was the case, the Government would have bent over backwards trying to support such an airline, helping it establish the facilities it needed, and creating a healthy business environment. Then that airline might be able to provide jobs for those in the aviation sector who find themselves unemployed.
No, it's better to just squander Ireland's tiny military budget on trying to patch over the holes in the Government's employment policies, by providing training for apprentices without the promise of a job at the end.
That's much better.