Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Questions (193)

Dara Calleary


193. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of persons who have applied for participation in the JobsPlus programme in each year since its inception; the number of persons approved for participation; the number of persons who completed their course; the annual cost of the scheme; her plans to review its operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41446/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

JobsPlus provides a direct monthly financial incentive to employers who recruit employees who were previously in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment for over 12 months. It is biased in favour of those who are longer-term unemployed and 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. JobsPlus has been operational since July 2013.

In 2013, a total of 4,586 jobseekers applied for eligibility under the scheme and of those, 3,601 were adjudged to be eligible. From January to end September 2014, 6,685 jobseekers applied to have their eligibility confirmed with 5,156 of these deemed eligible.

At the end of September 2014, 2,273 employers received payments in respect of 3,000 employees who were previously long-term jobseekers. Since the incentive has not yet been in operation for 2 years, the number of persons who have completed the JobsPlus incentive cannot yet be determined.

A provision of €13.5m has been included in the Vote for the Department for the scheme in 2014. An expansion of JobsPlus was announced in Budget 2015 which will allow for double the number of jobseekers to be supported.