Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (100, 102)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

100. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Social Protection when the extra places on the Tús scheme will be rolled out; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56113/12]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

102. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans to change the rules of the Tús scheme by allowing participants to stay on the scheme for an unlimited duration; the reason that at present participants are only allowed stay on the scheme for one year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56115/12]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 102 together.

Tús, the community work placement initiative introduced during 2011, was initially set up to provide up to 5,000 short-term, quality work opportunities for those who are unemployed for more than a year. This initiative is being delivered through the network of local development companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tús is designed to break the cycle of unemployment and to improve a person’s opportunities in returning to the labour market. I consider the existing 12-month period on Tús to be adequate to meet the objectives of the initiative whilst also ensuring that as many unemployed people as possible are able to benefit from the initiative. There are no circumstances under which a person’s term on Tús will be extended beyond 12 months and it is not in the interest of any participant that such work placements of this extend for prolonged periods of time. As part of the budget package for my Department, I intend to extend the number of opportunities available on Tús by another 2,500. These additional placements will be allocated following consultation with the Implementing Bodies by the end of the first quarter of 2013.