Written Answers. - Tourism Employment

John Perry

Question:

41 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the plans, if any, he has to create and encourage the unemployed back to work and generate greater job opportunities within the tourism sector. [15196/98]

CERT is the State tourism training agency and includes in its range of activities, training for the unemployed for positions in the tourism sector. Since 1994, a total of 4,500 unemployed persons have been trained and CERT plan to train a further 2,900 by the end of 1999, bringing the total to 7,400 over the entire period of the Operational Programme for Tourism (1994-1999).

Training for the unemployed is delivered on a sub-regional basis in three permanent centres and up to five temporary centres each year. Placement rates from these programmes are consistently high at a national average of 85 per cent, with some centres achieving up to 98 per cent placement rate on completion of each programme.

In order to attract unemployed people into the industry, CERT works with local area based partnerships to promote tourism training and to assist in recruiting unemployed persons for CERT training programmes.

The CERT National Recruitment Committee which is representative of industry bodies and CERT, meets regularly to assist in the development of local promotional initiatives to attract new recruits to the industry. Industry bodies now recognise and are responding to the competitive recruitment environment in which they find themselves.

As the Deputy will note, strenuous efforts are being made to attract and encourage unemployed people into the tourism sector. The industry is buoyant at this time and opportunities continue to exist so I would urge the unemployed to look closely now at the sector in terms of worthwhile and productive employment opportunities.