Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (81)

Seán Kyne

Question:

81. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider amending current FÁS stipulations which are preventing job-seeking persons who worked in the construction industry but who are not qualified plumbers, from receiving the financial assistance required to undertake up-skilling courses that would permit job-seekers to avail of the opportunities that will arise from the installation of water meters nationally. [12272/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I understand from FÁS that only qualified Plumbers should be responsible for the installation of boundary boxes and water meters. This position was confirmed in a recent meeting between FÁS and Irish Water and subsequently between FÁS and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). I am informed that this work is specifically covered as part of the Plumbing Apprenticeship, and therefore ensures that qualified Plumbers are confirmed as capable of boundary box/water meter installation. The installation of Valves and Taps is covered in the Plumbing Apprenticeship Phase 2 Module 2 "Domestic Hot and Cold Water Services". The causes and means of prevention of water supply contamination is covered in Phase 6 Module 2 "Advanced Pipework, Water and Wastewater Systems".

Irish Water have stated that boundary box/water meter installation teams will consist of two persons, one responsible for the excavation/reparation of ground works and the other for the installation of the boundary box/water meter. There may of course be 'operative' type work available around site work/preparation for installation etc. In relation to the issue of providing financial assistance to job-seekers looking to avail of up-skilling courses, this would be a matter for the Department of Social Protection in the first instance.