Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (591)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

591. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will consider excluding persons over 60 years of age from JobPath especially those working part time and with no means of transport; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16295/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

My Department's Intreo service offers a range of education, training and employment support measures during the activation process to help jobseekers secure and sustain full-time paid employment.

Furthermore, activation services currently provided by, or on behalf of my Department through contracted services, have the capacity to provide appropriate activation services for all jobseekers in a one to one case managed way. Contracted providers are obliged to and are encouraged to tailor their activation supports to the individual needs of each customer.

In line with current activation policy, my Department does not subject jobseekers aged 62 and over to mandatory activation measures.  As such, jobseekers already over the age of 62 are exempt from selection for referral to labour market activation programmes, including JobPath. However, where a jobseeker reaches 62 years of age while participating on an activation programme, they are expected to complete it.

The Government believes that as we live longer and healthier lives many people may wish to, and can, continue to work to an older age and make a positive contribution to our society through employment. Future Jobs Ireland 2019, the Government's new economic pathway, identifies increasing participation in the labour force as one of its key pillars. It acknowledges that improving participation rates of older workers leads to a more equitable, balanced and sustainable workforce.

My Department will continue to review its labour market activation policies to ensure that they remain effective and aligned to labour market requirements.