Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

98 Ms Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the disincentive for sponsors of community employment workers to take on persons of an advanced age who have been referred from the National Rehabilitation Board in view of the potential implications for their future allocations if these persons do not progress; if measures will be taken so that this disincentive can be eliminated; if a certain number of places will be set aside for persons over a certain age which would not affect sponsor allo cations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9275/00]

The progression of participants from community employment into work-training-education-other development opportunities is a significant element of the operation of CE with a view to facilitating the reintegration of the long-term unemployed into the open labour market. However, FÁS does not have a set target that all participants must attain which will penalise sponsors if not met. Such targets for specific projects are locally determined, taking into account the context of the local project, including the profile of participants and availability of employment opportunities. Concern about an adequate level of progression in CE is highlighted by FÁS to project sponsors in a way that is relevant to the context of the local project.