I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. As he will be aware, this country faced an unprecedented shock to the labour market as a result of the pandemic. Under pathways to work, the Government's new employment services strategy which was launched last July, my Department has put in place a wide range of measures to assist those who are out of work in finding new jobs. Pathways to work sets out 83 commitments on a whole-of-government basis. The strategy is in the early stages of implementation, with progress expected to accelerate as the final stages of public health restrictions are lifted and the phased transition of PUP recipients to jobseekers' payments starts from next month.
The latest data on the take-up of programmes in my Department are as follows: 90,037 participants in community employment; 5,017 in Tús; 2,594 on the back to work enterprise allowance, including the short term enterprise allowance; 2,771 in receipt of the back to education allowance; 1,921 people availing of the training support grant; and 567 employers funded to support 673 employees via JobsPlus. The new work placement experience programme has been launched and 102 individuals have started or are due to start in the near future. In further delivering on pathways to work, my colleague, the Minister, Deputy O'Brien, and I assigned more than 2,600 places on community employment and Tús schemes nationwide at the end of August.
In addition, I am working closely with my colleague, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Deputy Simon Harris, to ensure that jobseekers can avail of sustainable training opportunities to assist them in accessing the skills needed to make the next step in their career. Under pathways to work the Minister's Department is committed to providing 50,000 additional education and training places, supporting the delivery of actions set out in the apprenticeship action plan and supporting 50,000 long-term unemployed persons in further education and training by 2025.