The aim of the Community Employment (CE) programme is to enhance the employability of disadvantaged and unemployed people by providing work experience and training opportunities for them within their communities. The programme helps break the cycle of unemployment and improves a person’s chances of returning to the labour market.
The individual referred to in the Deputy’s question commenced on CE on 7th March 2016 and completed their term of 3 years on the scheme on 1st March 2019. During this period they successfully completed a variety of training, the purpose of which was to enhance the opportunities open to them to secure fulltime sustainable employment. In particular they attained a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) major award in horticulture which provides the individual with a comprehensive and applied set of horticultural skills for employment in plant nurseries, garden centres, landscape companies, golf clubs, parks and a range of related areas.
My Department’s activation service now needs to work with this individual to ensure that the benefits of the experience and training that they received during their time on CE are maximised. The individual has started with Jobpath where they will receive one-to-one, intensive and regular engagement with a personal adviser who will assess their skills, experience, challenges and work goals and assist them in finding full-time sustainable employment. This process will also help identify potential employment opportunities and offer support to the individual in overcoming any barriers to employment.
I have asked my officials to review the progress of the individual having regarding to the ongoing activation services being provided in this case.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.