Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

30.

asked the Minister for Labour the number of persons who have participated in the enterprise allowance scheme in 1987 and 1988 and who have successfully completed their first 52 weeks, thereby bringing about a situation where the employment which they created was self-sustaining and therefore did not require them to go back on the social welfare system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The numbers of people recruited to the enterprise allowance scheme in 1987 and 1988 were 2,381 and approximately 2,700. The numbers who left the scheme having completed 52 weeks in those years were 4,118 and 1,974 respectively.

A recent sample survey of individuals who entered the scheme between late 1984 and early 1986 indicates that (1) approximately 88 per cent of entrants to the scheme complete the full 52 weeks; (2) a further 21 per cent of businesses failed during the 13 weeks after the end of the enterprise period. After that the failure rate tailed off; (3) two years after entering enterprise approximately 60 per cent of businesses were still in operation, 55 per cent full time. There is no data on where drop outs go. They may take up other employment, emigrate or return to the live register.

Based on the survey recommendations, a programme providing an integrated package of training, advice and aftercare to assist enterprise participants is being piloted in the FÁS north-east region. The scheme will be examined in the light of the results of this pilot.