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      I recently completed my architectural studies at DIT Bolton Street. Given the state of the economy I was forced to sign on soon after. My attention was drawn by the Department of Social Welfare to the work placement scheme offered by FÁS whereby one might avail of an unpaid position in a professional environment in order to gain experience while continuing to receive the dole.

      I applied for such a position, as advertised, and was offered a placement with an architectural practice in my locality. Unfortunately, I was told by FÁS that I need to have been in receipt of social welfare benefits for three months before I am eligible to apply. This means a wait of eight weeks at which point the position will have evaporated and I, most likely, will have emigrated.

      Am I missing something here? Does this seem like a logical strategy for the government to adopt? I could use those eight weeks to contribute to my, one time, potential employer as well as my CV. Instead I’ll spend the next two months enjoying the Irish weather.

      Also, this scheme, once implemented seems ripe for abuse by unscrupulous practices. These might have the means to employ graduates but would elect instead to take advantage of the free labour on offer by FÁS. Are the RIAI doing anything to police this?

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