Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Questions (110, 111, 112)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

110. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection the steps being taken to develop the pathways to work option to include private sector firms to assist, support and complement the current employment and advisory services. [21630/13]

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Eoghan Murphy

Question:

111. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection when she will publish the CESI report on activation services which was commissioned in November 2012. [21631/13]

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Eoghan Murphy

Question:

112. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection when tenders will be issued for activation and support services under pathways to work. [21632/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 to 112, inclusive, together.

The Pathways to Work policy provides for more regular and on-going engagement with jobseekers to enable them to return to employment through the provision of the most appropriate support interventions. In order to increase activation capacity the Department is considering the contracting of employment services to complement the existing capacity of the department. In that regard, the Department engaged the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) in November 2012 to provide expert advice and assistance with the design and delivery of a contracted employment service model. The consultants recently produced a report and this is currently being evaluated. I expect the evaluation to be completed in the near future. The question of tendering for the provision of additional activation services will be then considered by Government and will be subject to the normal procurement requirements.

As part of its current employment service provision, the Department already contracts with external providers for the delivery of both the Local Employment Service (LES) and Job Clubs. Employment services, including career planning, engagement with employers and job search assistance, are provided under contract by these organisations to clients who are activated by the Department. The Department funds this contracted provision to the value of approximately €25m per annum and these organisations employ approximately 390 staff, who are engaged in the provision of these services.