So FÃ¡s have announced the following scheme...
"The recently announced Work Placement Programme (WPP) is designed to offer unemployed people, including unemployed graduates, the opportunity to obtain 6 months experience in a work situation.
The government have announced that there will be provision for an initial 2,000 placements under this programme. There two streams of placement with 1,000 placements allocated to each.
* The first stream is for Graduates who, before 2009, have attained a full award at level 7 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications (e.g. Ordinary Bachelors Degree), who have been unemployed for 6 months and are also currently in receipt of Job Seekerâ€™s Allowance.
* The second stream is open to all other individuals who have been unemployed for 6 months and are also currently in receipt of Job Seekerâ€™s Allowance. Under this stream, 250 places are being ring fenced for those under 25 years of age.
Participants on both streams of the Work Placement Programme will continue to receive their existing social welfare entitlements from the Department of Social and Family Affairs during their 6 month work placement.
Applications to provide a work placement are open to all Public and Private bodies that have:
* A minimum of 10 employees
* Not made any person redundant in the last 6 months
* A business cannot have an existing vacancy in the area where the work placement is being offered
* Any Work Placement offered must be for a full working week "
Now is it just me or do the rules of this scheme essentially rule out any architects from applying. Firstly why say that the host company has to have 10 employees? A lot of firms who could really do with this extra help fall well short of ten employees. And secondly I doubt there's a single architecture practice with 10 or more employees that hasn't been forced to make persons redundant in the last 6 months.
My guess would be that even if you were lucky enough to have 10 person office (without recent redundancies) they'd probably still discount the directors as not being employees and thus make you inelligible.
No doubt the likes of Coughlan are delighted that an industry on its knees cannot benefit from such a dig out, but perhaps it would be worth lobbying other politicians to have the rules revised, they could do worse than pleasing the 2000 plus registered architects who most certainly are feeling Mary's "chill wind."