Research by Pitzer College Professor Cited in Irish Parliament

Claremont, Calif. (October 16, 2009) – Pitzer College Professor Nigel Boyle's 2005 paper, FÁS and Active Labour Market Policy 1985-2004, was cited during an Irish Parliament debate on the Labour Services bill.

Deputy Varadkar said:

"It is unfortunate that this bill is a missed opportunity to start from scratch and examine the Labour Services Act from first principles by asking ourselves what type of national employment and training agency we want. I was interested to see that when some of the research papers relating to FÁS were distributed and I thank the Oireachtas Library for this information, among them was one from 2005 by a professor of political studies in California who studied FÁS. He made four excellent points, the third of which was that FÁS enjoyed relative immunity from criticism, including research-based criticism. That was the case, and it was the case for too long. He accurately described it as the 'Swiss army knife of the Irish State: a highly flexible, multi-functional instrument used to address a myriad of policy problems from high-tech skill shortages to functional illiteracy.' Therein was the problem."

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