Paid training for asylum seekers?
2017-11-01 16:15:00 -

By Michaela Althouse

Internships, English language classes and mental health leave among proposals by FG’s intercultural wing.


Paid internships and English classes are among the proposals by Fine Gael’s intercultural wing for asylum seekers about to enter the workforce.


Sponsored placements in community projects and compassionate leave for mental health issues are also included in Fine Gael Intercultural’s (FGI) submission to the interdepartmental taskforce on addressing asylum seekers’ right to work.


The taskforce was started following the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year that the current ban on asylum seekers working is unconstitutional.


Fine Gael Intercultural comprises over 600 members from Ireland’s new communities and works to encourage diversity and inclusion within the party proper. 


One of its more notable proposals is for paid internships with a tax credit to employers partnering with the Education Training Board. FGI suggests this would help asylum seekers gain the critical skills necessary for Ireland’s growing knowledge economy.


Another proposal is that asylum seekers should only work 20 hours a week, the same as international students, until they are allowed to seek permanent employment.


FGI also encourages the mandatory introduction of Fetac Level 5 English language classes for all asylum seekers coming from a non-English-speaking country.


Further, on the list, FGI argues that consultation processes should be taken more seriously, suggests that sponsored placement by local authorities in community projects should be considered. The group also calls for mental health leave from issues onset within the direct provision system. 


Another proposal is for employers who hire asylum seekers to provide medical insurance and public liability, which would reduce the number of medical cards issued.


FGI said it welcomes the commitment of Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and the taskforce to the issues at hand, expressing their hope that the “humanity and respect” that asylum seekers need will remain at the heart of any solution.



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