Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (161)

John Paul Phelan


160 Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Social Protection the actions being undertaken by her Department in support of implementation of the EU Commission’s Youth Opportunities Initiative to address youth unemployment. [35591/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

Young people who are unemployed, once they have been on the Live Register for three months, are referred to the employment service of my Department for a guidance interview and additional support under a case management approach. This is designed to identify and address specific difficulties the young person faces in securing employment (e.g. by referral to appropriate training or other supports).

The Department is currently moving to profiling of newly unemployed people when they enter the Live Register, as a basis for immediate referral of those most needing assistance. This should allow young people facing particular difficulties to be directed to appropriate supports earlier in a spell of unemployment than was possible heretofore.

More generally, young people leaving education with Leaving Certificate or higher qualifications who face difficulty in finding work can register with the employment service for assistance with job search. In these cases, access to training and other labour market programmes is not made available for a period (4-6 months) after leaving education. This is to ensure that labour market programmes are not seen to encourage exit from education.

Where early school leavers (under 18 years and with no Leaving Certificate) seek to register with the employment service, the emphasis is on encouraging such young people to stay on at school and complete the Leaving Certificate. Where this is established not to be possible (based on written evidence from their school or parents that they have officially left school or by referral by the Educational Welfare Board), they are considered eligible to register with the employment service. Due to their lack of/or low qualifications, they may be referred, without a four-month waiting period, to suitable training programmes, such as Community Training Centres or Youthreach, which are specifically designed for early school leavers.

Questions Nos. 161 and 162 withdrawn.