Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (612)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

612. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the interdepartmental review of community employment schemes; when the review is expected to be completed and published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25109/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Community Employment (CE) is the largest employment programme administered by the Department. It aims to enhance employability and mobility by providing work experience and training opportunities for unemployed persons within their own communities.

A key function of CE is supporting social inclusion and counteracting the drift into structural unemployment. All CE placements are categorised as either a training / activation strand or a social inclusion strand. This is to acknowledge that not all CE places are the same. The Social Inclusion placements provide an opportunity for those who are very distant from the labour market to gain employment and deliver services in their local communities while the activation placements are more directly related to employment opportunities for participants who are long-term unemployed with a view to providing them with more labour market relevant work experience.

The Government agreed to establish an interdepartmental group (IDG), to explore the most appropriate organisational arrangements, including which Department should host CE Social Inclusion schemes, including Drug Rehabilitation and Childcare CE schemes, the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) and the Job Initiative (JI) scheme. Meetings of the group have taken place along with bilateral meetings with appropriate Departments. The IDG has engaged with key stakeholders and their submissions will be included in the deliberations.