As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to obtain and sustain paid employment. The service was launched in 2015 on a ‘rolling basis’ with referral numbers gradually increasing over time.
There are two phases to the service. During the first phase, of 12 months duration, a personal advisor (PA) provides practical assistance in searching, preparing for, securing and sustaining employment. The second phase starts if the jobseeker is successful in finding work. During this phase the PA continues to work with the jobseeker for a further period of at least three months, and up to 12 months. In addition to the two phases jobseekers may also undertake training while with the service and this may extend the period the jobseeker is supported through the service for up to a further 6 months. The duration of the client journey therefore necessitates the requirement of a cohort based approach to reporting and the updating of individual cohort outcome data over time.
My Department recently published an updated cohort based report on the performance of the service, in January 2018 (the report is available on the Departments website: www.welfare.ie) The report details employment outcomes on a quarterly cohort basis, i.e. customers referred in Quarter 3 and 4 in 2015 and those referred in Quarter 1 and 2 in 2016.
Of the 39,603 jobseekers referred to the service during this period,) 58% were over three years unemployed and a further 17% were over two years unemployed. These groups face significant barriers when seeking to enter or return to employment in the open labour market. The total employment outcome across all four cohorts at the time of publishing was 25%: 18% of Jobseekers who engaged with the service during this period obtained full-time employment, in addition a further 4% of clients entered part-time employment and a further 3% became self-employed. It is important to note, that the latter two cohorts (Q1 and Q2 2016), represent 80% of the 39,603 jobseekers referred between July 2015 and June 2016, and that employment outcomes are expected to improve over time as more jobseekers from these cohorts complete their full engagement period with the service.
An initial analysis of the areas in which participants found employment suggests that some of the more popular sectors includes the construction, manufacturing, sales, clerical / administrative, food service, and customer service sectors. While the results are very positive, these initial reports are subject to review and are based on a relatively small sample size. With this in mind, the department is undertaking an econometric review of this strand of its activation services. Completion of the review is provisionally scheduled for the end of Q3 2018, following which more detailed and robust statistics will be available.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.