Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (31)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

31. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress he has made in his consideration of the inclusion of social clauses in all significant capital projects. [29557/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The use of a social clause requiring a contractor to recruit a certain percentage of those employed on a public works construction site from the ranks of the long term unemployed will be piloted on a number of schools projects under the Devolved Schools Programme being administered by the National Development Finance Agency on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

It is important to note that such a provision must be managed carefully both to ensure that the requirements set can be met and monitored but also consideration must be given to their impact on a sector that has experienced decline in output since 2008 as it may result in significant displacement of those already in employment.

The pilot programme undertaken as part of the Devolved Schools Programme will inform the activation measures being considered for the €1.4 billion Public Private Partnership (PPP) element of the €2.25 billion Stimulus Programme, announced by my Department. This will result in significant additional investment in the sector over and above the funds committed to the Public Capital Programme and, given the estimated workforce of 13,000 required to deliver the PPP element of the Programme, the provision of a requirement to recruit from the ranks of the long-term unemployed is entirely appropriate in this context.

A framework of contractors has been set up for the Devolved Schools Programme and the first tender will be issued shortly. Once the pilot programme is completed an evaluation will be prepared and submitted to the Government Contracts Committee for Construction for consideration of their more widespread use.

Question No. 32 answered with Question No. 20.