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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 14 May 1969

Vol. 240 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Munster Institute Students.


andMr. Barry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he is aware that great dissatisfaction exists, among parents of qualified students from the Munster Institute, Cork, because after four years of intensive and arduous service and study no adequate opportunities have been offered by his Department to absorb those qualified into suitable employment; and what steps he intends to take to rectify this situation.

I am not aware that dissatisfaction as suggested exists. Opportunities for employment of students who successfully complete the three-year courses at the Munster Institute are provided by county committees of agriculture, agricultural colleges, rural domestic economy schools and by commercial concerns. While the number of vacancies arising will vary from time to time they are in practice sufficient to absorb qualified students within a reasonable period.

Is the Minister aware that the lady who got first place in the final examination in the Munster Institute last June is still awaiting any offer of suitable employment?

What I do know is that, of the 16 students who secured diplomas in farm home management and in poultry-keeping last year, 15 are employed. Whether the one that is unemployed is the student who got first place or not I have no idea. I do not know any of the 15.

There is a difference here in so far as there are courses for home advisory work and for poultry instructors. Am I right in saying that the student who got first place last year has been offered no suitable employment since and that the prospects for those who are now about to qualify are even less bright than they were last year?

I have no idea who was first or last. I do not know any of the 16 students but my information is that only one of the 16 who qualified last year is not employed at the moment. She qualified in farm home management. The other 15 who qualified as poultry instructors and farm home management instructors have been engaged. I should also say that about 20 vacancies have been notified to the Appointments Commission by county committees of agriculture with requests that they be filled. The student to whom the Deputy refers could qualify for one of these 20 vacancies which have not yet been filled but which have been notified by the committees of agriculture.

When the Minister says that the 15 have got employment, is he sure that the employment they have got in some cases is not as waitresses at Cork Airport?

To allay the Deputy's suspicions and, lest any of the girls who might be considering this outlet at present might take seriously what he has said, this is the result of the check I have made: six have been employed by county committees of agriculture; four as teachers in agricultural colleges; one as catering supervisor; one as demonstrator with a cheese firm; one at home looking after a turkey-breeder hatchery belonging to her parents; and one has been appointed to Mellowes Agricultural College and will take up appointment this week or next week. One is temporarily employed and the final student is unemployed. That accounts for the 16 who graduated last year.