Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (120)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

120. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Social Protection with regard to the Ballymun pilot project of the Youth Guarantee, when the pilot will be up and running; when the various stakeholders will be brought together; the way the project will be evaluated and the lessons learned be transferred to other areas particularly those with less well-developed community supports; if she will provide a guarantee that youth organisations will be centrally involved in all aspects of the pilot and the subsequent State-wide Youth Guarantee; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29437/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Ballymun pilot project is due to start 4 months after getting approval for our proposal from the Commission. The latest communication from the Commission has intimated that a decision on proposals will be made by the end of this month. Hence, if approved, the Ballymun pilot can be expected to start in October. The various stakeholders will be brought together during the initial meetings of the National Steering Group and the Local Implementation Group, which will take place during the period July – September.

With regard to evaluation of the pilot scheme, the Department of Social Protection (DSP) will issue a request for tenders to retain the appropriate evaluation and monitoring service. All stakeholders have an expressed interest in identifying and capturing lessons for policy and practice as a result of their involvement in the Youth Guarantee Scheme (YGS) pilot. The learning will be used to inform their own organisations and members of the lessons and issues raised by the pilot.

The external independent evaluator will be asked to assess: Quality of delivery of activities/tasks: a quality system will be developed to ensure appraisal of on-going tasks by each partner during the piloting of the model. Partnership and Communications: the main factors making the partnership successful, the factors making for cooperation within the partnership etc. Outcomes and Impact: Questionnaires and administrative records will be used to assess the outputs, outcomes and impact of the pilot YGS for the participants and the partner organisations. Focus groups and questionnaires will be used to determine the qualitative aspects of the learning coming from the pilot.

With regards to the transfer of lessons learned from the pilot, a dissemination conference will be organised to highlight the outcomes of the pilot and to feed into the national and EU discussion on the development of future YGS that are relevant to young people and labour market integration. A documentary account of the programme is a central objective of the DSP to capture learning and ensure that the lessons are distilled and disseminated into mainstream policy formulation.

With regards the involvement of youth organisations, the Ballymun proposal includes both a national and local partnership structure to manage implementation and both youth organisations and organisations which deliver services to young people will have a central role to play in both national and local structures.

The National Steering Group will consist of a representative from Department Of Social Protection (Chair), the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI). Irish Local Development Network (ILDN), City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC), FÁS (the national training authority), the Department of Education and Skills and the Irish Business and Employers Conference (IBEC).

The Local Implementation Team will comprise representatives of relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Social Protection, FÁS, CDVEC, Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership, Ballymun Job Centre/Local Employment Service Network, EQUAL Youth, North Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Ballymun for Business, and a representative young person (to be identified).

Question No. 121 answered with Question No. 119.