Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (48)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

52 Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection if consideration is being given to reintroducing training grants to some or all community employment schemes; if the capacity for training is sufficient within the other agencies of the State to meet the demand; if there is an inter departmental approach to training and skill requirements; if so will, if she outline what is involved; the training role if any envisaged for SOLAS; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34603/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

Following the completion of the financial review of Community Employment, €5.5m of the 2012 CE Budget has been ring-fenced for training. This equates to a training grant of approximately €250 per place annually. Flexibility can be applied to exceed the rate of €250 per place once the overall budget for the region is not exceeded and where added value to the progression of the individual into employment is justified. In allocating the budget to Schemes, the Department takes into account whether training can be accessed at no cost from FÁS or the VECs. In addition, access to the Springboard Programme which provides access to third level courses without incurring fees is now available to CE participants, once a participant satisfies the criteria.

The Department is currently undertaking a training needs analysis of CE participants and is working closely with the VEC sector to ensure adequate capacity to deliver such training.