The JobPath employment service commenced in 2015 and, under the terms of the contracts signed with the providers will run for at least six years. This includes a period of at least four years of client referrals to the end of 2019, and a run off period of at least two years. The contract includes an option to extend the term of referrals for a period of up to two years beyond the end of 2019.
The process of procuring contracted public employment services for 2020 and beyond is in its early stages of development and my officials are working to design a procurement model that will balance the need for value for money for taxpayers with the importance of preserving high-quality employment advisory services. As part of this process the ongoing requirements of the public employment service including the period for client referrals under the JobPath programme are currently being considered.
To date no decisions have been taken in this regard and I have not had any engagement with JobPath providers in relation to extending referrals beyond 2019. However, my Department is currently considering how best to continue to provide a high quality public employment service that meets the needs of all jobseekers, while looking to provide employment services to those most distant from the labour market and to people who have not previously availed of these services.