Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (596, 597, 598, 599, 600)

John Brady

Question:

596. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons referred to JobPath since 2015; the number referred more than once; and the number of times they have been referred. [25019/19]

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John Brady

Question:

597. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons who have found employment with JobPath which has been sustained for 13, 26, 39 and 52 weeks, respectively. [25020/19]

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John Brady

Question:

598. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount spent on JobPath to date. [25021/19]

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John Brady

Question:

599. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons referred to community employment and Tús while engaged with JobPath. [25022/19]

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John Brady

Question:

600. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons referred to JobPath while engaging with community employment, Tús and other schemes. [25023/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 596 to 600, inclusive together.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides a range of activation supports catering for long-term unemployed jobseekers and those most distant from the labour market to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. These supports include the JobPath service, the Local Employment Service, Job Clubs, Tús and Community Employment (CE). The primary purpose of JobPath is to provide a case management based, employment advice and counselling service to long term unemployed jobseekers. This is the group of jobseekers facing the most significant barriers to entering full-time employment.

My Department selects clients for the JobPath service by means of a random selection process. Between July 2015 and May 2019, just over 226,850 jobseekers had commenced their engagement period with the JobPath service. Protocols for selection currently preclude the selection of anyone who has already completed 52 weeks with the JobPath service within the previous four months. If, however, at the end of this period the jobseeker has not engaged in other activation supports and services, they then become eligible for selection for a subsequent period of activation on the JobPath service. This is necessary to ensure that they continue to receive a case management service.

To date, 27,830 jobseekers have been referred to the service more than once. Of these, 27,476 jobseekers have commenced a second engagement period, having previously availed of the service and 354 people have commenced a third engagement period. Jobseekers referred for a subsequent referral will start working with a Personal Advisor who will review their development during their previous engagements with the service and together they will prepare a new personal progression plan to build on that progress. The actions and tasks agreed will be based on their previous engagements, with particular focus on any remaining barriers preventing the person from moving into full-time suitable employment.

To date, some 51,500 jobseekers have commenced employment during their engagement period with JobPath as set out in table 1 below. It should be noted that the figures presented are representative of the entire cohort of JobPath clients between July 2015 and May 2019 and all job starts in the same period. Many clients who are currently engaged with JobPath are still in the first phase of the service and will not have had sufficient time with the service to have gained employment nor sustain that employment for up to 52 weeks. Performance will improve as more clients complete their engagement with the service and have a chance to reach 52 weeks in employment.

Between July 2015 and the end of December 2017 - a time period where the full impact of JobPath and job sustainment can now be measured - 146,849 jobseekers, mostly more than two years unemployed, had engaged with the JobPath service of whom 37,610 had commenced employment. These employment start and sustainment rates are significantly higher than the historical counterfactual level prior to JobPath, employment progression rates for this group - even during periods of economic growth.

JobPath is a payment by results model and all set-up and day-to-day operational costs are borne by the companies. The companies are paid on the basis of performance and with the exception of the initial registration fee; payments are made only when a client has achieved sustained employment. The overall cost of JobPath will be determined by the number of people who participate in the programme and the number who get sustainable jobs. The total of fees claimed by the JobPath providers to the end of May 2019 is €182 million.

The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. These work opportunities benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas. There are currently 6,500 budgeted places on Tús involved in the delivery of local services.

The aim of Community Employment is to enhance the employability and mobility of disadvantaged and unemployed persons by providing work experience and training opportunities for them within their communities. Virtually all participants are engaged in some element of service support and delivery - e.g. amenities management, sports, tidy towns, childcare, etc. There are currently 921 Community Employment schemes catering for 21,371 participants.

Persons who are engaged with CE and Tús do not get referred to JobPath. Since June 2018, long-term jobseekers engaged with the JobPath service can also apply for either Community Employment or Tús should they wish to do so. This enables those people with the JobPath service to avail of a CE or Tús placement which provides valuable occupational activity and work experience. However, continued engagement with the JobPath service is a condition of opting to avail of both schemes. Of the 74,000 currently engaged with the JobPath service, 1,537 are availing of a CE placement and 1,226 are availing of Tús placement.

I trust that this clarifies matter for the Deputy.

Table 1: JobPath referrals and employment sustainments as of 31 May 2019

Jobseekers referred

226,851

Jobseekers with multiple referrals

27,830

Jobseekers with a second referral

27,476

Jobseekers with a third referral

354

Commenced employment

51,548

Jobs sustained for 13 weeks to date

31,186

Jobs sustained for 26 weeks to date

24,234

Jobs sustained for 39 weeks to date

18,808

Jobs sustained for 52 weeks to date

14,617