A Kilkenny-based private training company, well-known in Waterford business circles, maybe investigated by Gardaí regarding its certification from a range of bodies, including Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
It’s believed that the certification of up to 1,000 students could now be in doubt, which is certain to anger those who paid up to €2,000 for courses.
Following a review by State agency Skillnets, it was revealed that Empower Training, which has received over €1million from both FAS and Skillnets, did not hold all the training courses scheduled to take place.
It’s also believed that several tutors for Empower co-ordinated courses are owed between €3,500 and €5,000 in unpaid wages.
During the investigation, Skillnets discovered signed attendance and training profile sheets for training sessions that may not have taken place.
It’s also been revealed that of the 24 courses Empower was paid a total of €319,520 to co-ordinate and hold, only 16 had been held. Between July and September alone, according to RTE, €244,000 was received by Empower in student receipts and fees.
Between 2003 and 2010, Empower received €658,498 from FAS, but is in no current contract with the state training provider.
One Waterford person (who wished to remain anonymous) contacted The Munster Express just before we went to print this week, to reveal her own ‘lucky escape’ with Empower.
“A few weeks ago, I intended to hand over €1500 to Empower for a course, but for some reason I hesitated in my dealings with their staff and decided to hold off, a decision I’m so relieved to have made now in hindsight.”
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