The Job Initiative (JI) scheme was launched in 1996. The Job Initiative programme initially provided three years full-time employment for people who – on entry to the scheme – were 35 years of age or over, unemployed for 5 years or more, and in receipt of social welfare payments over that period. In November 2004 the then Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment decided to allow those already on the programme to remain until retirement age (at 66). Further recruitment onto the scheme was also halted from that date.
A stakeholder conference was held on the 18th of February to consider the recommendations made in the Review of Employment Support Schemes including Job Initiative, published by this Department in November 2012. The conference provided stakeholders with the opportunity to debate the issues raised. Further consideration will now be given to the recommendations made over the next number of months.