I propose to take Questions Nos. 1469 and 1470 together.
The Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) was introduced on Monday 1 October 2018 and has been open to applications from that date.
YESS is a work experience programme targeted at young jobseekers who are long-term unemployed or who face significant barriers to employment. The scheme aims to provide participants with the opportunity to learn basic work and social skills in a supportive environment while on a work placement.
Up to the end of March 2019, a total of 225 participants have commenced on the scheme. A budget of up to €5million has been allocated to YESS for 2019. My Department is aiming to provide up to 1,000 placements for participants by year end.
YESS is open to eligible jobseekers in receipt of a number of different social welfare payments, and as such, the weekly rate of the underlying payment varies from one participant to another. While on a YESS placement, participants should receive a minimum weekly allowance of €229.20, which includes their underlying payment. However, it would not be possible to provide the average cost to date per participant, excluding their existing underlying social welfare payment entitlement.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.