Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.

Michael Creed


119 Mr. Creed asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will clarify her proposals regarding the number of places on community employment schemes for 2000; the number of places to be transferred to the social economy; the employers eligible to recruit participants in the social economy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4846/00]

Based on a budget of £287 million, the targeted average participation rate on the community employment programme for 2000 is 35,520. This represents a reduction of 2,400 on the average level of participation in 1999. It is expected that the social economy programme will provide for an average of 670, full-time equivalent, places this year. The amount of funding allocated in the social economy programme, £10 million in 2000, is expected to increase to an annual level of up to £41 million as the programme becomes established. In this respect provision is made in the National Development Plan 2000-2006 for up to £213 million for the social economy programme with the objective of creating employment for 2,500 people.

Under the social economy programme three types of enterprises can be funded, each of which will be able to recruit participants who meet the programmes eligibility criteria: community businesses, ultimately financed from trading income alone; deficient demand social economy enterprises, where the demand for particular goods and services within a community is not matched by resources to pay for these due to disadvantage or low density of population; enterprises based on public service contracts, where public services in disadvantaged areas and communities are subcontracted to local social economy enterprises.
It is important to note that the employers in the case of the social economy programme are the social economy enterprises.