Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (104, 122)

Thomas P. Broughan


104. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection her role in the development and roll out of Intreo in view of the fact that its key remit is to act as a one stop shop to tailor employment services for jobseekers and employers; if she put forward any proposals for the new Intreo service in terms of local employment initiatives and the matching of jobseekers with local employment opportunities; if she will confirm that local development bodies have established direct links with their local small and medium enterprises and large employers to match unemployed citizens and available jobs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9039/13]

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Mary Lou McDonald


122. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Social Protection the measures that have been taken to ensure that employers understand exactly the schemes that are open to them; and her plans to raise awareness of such schemes in view of the fact that a recent IBEC study showed extremely low awareness. [11386/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 122 together.

The Intreo service was formally launched in October 2012 and is being rolled out across the country in 2013 and 2014. Intreo is a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. It is designed to provide a more streamlined approach for jobseekers.

In parallel with the development of an integrated service for jobseekers, the Department is increasing its engagement with employers. A dedicated employer engagement Unit has been established and employer engagement teams are available in each local Division to support and advise employers at each stage of the employment process including the advertisement of job opportunities and sourcing potential candidates from the live register. These teams also assist the employer in accessing the full range of services and incentives, such as the Employer PRSI Job Incentive Scheme and Revenue Job Assist, available to them when they recruit from the live register. A dedicated employer call-centre is also operated from Edenderry in Offaly, the staff at this call-centre assist employers in using the Department’s online vacancy/recruitment service – jobsireland.ie. This is one of the most used recruitment websites in the country.

In addition, in order to increase employer awareness of the services and supports available to them, the Department hosted a series of seven employer road-shows attended by c 2,000 employer representatives in Limerick, Sligo, Galway, Athlone, Waterford, Cork and Dublin at the end of 2012. Partly as a consequence of feedback received at these events, the Department developed the new JobsPlus scheme to replace the PRSI Job Incentive and the Revenue Tax Assist schemes. This new scheme will be put into operation later this year. An Employer Information Pack has also been developed which provides information to employers on these supports and services and is available through the Department’s website www.welfare.ie so employers can have this information at their fingertips.