Given the scale of the unemployment crisis, the key objective of activation policy and labour market initiatives is to offer assistance to those most in need of support in securing work and achieving financial self-sufficiency. This policy objective prioritises scarce resources to those in receipt of qualifying welfare payments. Accordingly the employment services and schemes provided by the Department are focused in the first instance on this cohort of unemployed people. With specific regard to the Department’s internship programme – JobBridge – in order to be eligible to participate an individual must be currently be in receipt of a live social welfare claim (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance/Signing for Credits).
It is recognised, however, that not all unemployed people (including those previously self-employed) are dependent on the State for financial support and some services (for example assistance with jobsearch activities, use of online job search tools) are also available to such people if they register with the Department’s employment services offices.
Unemployed persons (including the previously self-employed) not in receipt of payments may also be eligible to avail of up-skilling opportunities, for example through FÁS training, but are not eligible to receive a training allowance while undertaking such training.