Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (93)

Dara Calleary

Question:

93. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the merit of allowing an extension of the JobsPlus scheme to allow for one parent family payment recipients to partake on the scheme; her further views on allowing successful JobBridge participants the opportunity to avail of the JobsPlus scheme; her further views that such an arrangement would support job creation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28634/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

JobsPlus provides a direct monthly financial incentive to employers who recruit employees from those who are long term on the live register. JobsPlus is biased in favour of those who are longer term unemployed. It provides employers with two levels of payment: €7,500 over two years where a jobseeker who is 12-24 months on the live register is recruited and €10,000 for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. The subsidy is paid in monthly instalments over a two year period provided the employment is maintained.

In line with Pathways to Work commitments, the long-term unemployed on the Live Register are a particular focus for interventions and the JobsPlus Incentive is, therefore, exclusively targeted at this cohort. Periods spend on an internship under JobBridge are counted towards eligibility and interns can be supported directly from JobBridge once the eligibility criteria are satisfied. A person on a one parent family payment is not considered eligible given the focus of JobsPlus on recruitment from those longer term unemployed and receiving a jobseekers payment. The Department of Social Protection is currently finalising a review of the initial phase of implementing JobsPlus. The review will consider eligibility criteria and if it is appropriate to meet the objectives set for JobsPlus. The Deputy will appreciate that any broadening of eligibility will have cost implications and require consideration in the context of the forthcoming Budget.

Since its launch in July 2013 to the end of May 2014, JobsPlus has concluded arrangements to support 2,385 jobseekers in full-time employment with 1,811 employers nationally. Around 60% of jobseekers being supported had been on the live register for over 24 months at the time of recruitment.