Community Employment (CE) is an employment and training programme which helps long-term unemployed people to re-enter the active workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment through a return to work routine. The programme assists by enhancing and developing a person’s technical and personal skills which can then be used in the workplace.
The general minimum age criterion of 21 for CE has been set to ensure that, in the first instance, younger jobseekers engage with the range of other activation measures already in place for persons of school leaving age and beyond. As there is limited provision for vulnerable groups (e.g. persons with a disability, Travellers, refugees, referred drug misusers, ex-offenders) who can access CE at 18 years of age, they are permitted to participate.
Schemes operated by my Department are kept under constant review to ensure that they remain fit for purpose and continue to meet the needs of the Department's customers.