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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 20 Jun 1978

Vol. 307 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions . Oral Answers . - Employment Action Team .


asked the Minister for Labour if it is true, as reported, that it is intended to disband the Employment Action Team.


asked the Minister for Labour if any new suggestions have been made by the Employment Action Team; and if they have been approved by the Government.

: With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 11 together. As I indicated in my reply to the debate on the Estimates for my Department, I consider that the Employment Action Team have done an excellent job. To date, the team have identified areas with potential for more than 4,900 opportunities for young people. In fact, the operation of the team has convinced me that there is need for such a permanent advisory body for youth employment and I am at present examining the team in this context. In the meantime, the team are examining a number of new proposals which, I understand, they hope to finalise and submit to me in the near future.

: How many of the 4,900 jobs to which the Minister referred have been filled?

: I think that is a separate question. I will see if I have some information for the Deputy. I do not think I have any information about the actual filling of the jobs.

: Is the Minister aware that, in the debate on the Estimate for the Department of Labour, 300 was the figure given by the Minister for Labour.

: During the course of the debate on the 1978 Estimate the Minister indicated it was considered that the team had done an excellent job and, if they have identified 4,900 opportunities, I presume the filling of these 4,900 jobs is in train.

: Is the Minister satisfied that due urgency is being given to filling the 4,900 opportunities suggested by the team?

: I appreciate the Deputy's concern but the question asked was about the Employment Action Team and my reply indicates that the Minister is satisfied with the work the team have done and that he is thinking of reconstituting the team on a permanent basis to advise him because of their success in their original chore.

: Does the Minister not agree that the 300 odd jobs, all short term, which the Minister for Labour indicated in his Estimate speech, are a very small return for all the hullabaloo there has been about the team, and that therefore the team are nothing but a charade, that they ought to be disbanded because they have given false hopes to a lot of young people?

: I do not intend to engage in a controversy with the Deputy on this matter. I consider that the normal reaction to the work of any team that would identify as many as 4,900 jobs is that that team were successful and that they had done a good job.

: Where are the jobs?

: Can the Minister give us a breakdown of what he means by 4,900 job opportunities?

: Or would he identify them?

: This question should not lead Deputies on to a debate.

: I am sure the Deputy is aware of the various areas the team covered. They covered the Work Experience Programme, the Environmental Improvement Scheme, apprentice recruitment by local authorities and employment of young people on survey work.

: Is the Minister aware that of the 4,900 identified job opportunities, so carefully phrased in the question, only about 450 jobs have been actually created and filled?

: The figure is 370.

: A separate question could elicit that information from the Department of Labour. Deputy Mitchell's figure differs from that of Deputy Desmond, and my reply has no figures at all because I was not asked to supply them.