Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (645)

Michael Lowry


645. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to recruitment difficulties experienced by a Tús initiative in County Tipperary due to the significant decrease in referrals for the scheme (details supplied);; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25306/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

It is recognised by Government that Tús is a positive initiative that enables the long-term unemployed to make a contribution to their communities whilst up-skilling themselves for prospective future employment.

Tús provides work placements for a twelve month period for those who are on the Live Register for a year or more. The initiative helps break the cycle of long-term unemployment by providing a work routine and valuable work experience.

The welcome increase in the number of people at work and the continued reduction in Live Register numbers have an impact on recruitment to all work programmes. In this regard, the Department has implemented a number of changes to the terms and conditions of participation on TUS, in order to broaden potential availability to a greater number of people on the Live Register.

The TUS programme in the areas highlighted by the Deputy is administered on behalf of my Department by South Tipperary Development Company and officials from my Department work very closely with that company to identify and refer potential participants to it. In addition, 30% of available Tús places can now be filled by assisted or self-referrals. This allows customers who fulfil the qualifying criteria for Tús, but who may not have been referred under the existing selection process the opportunity to avail of this short term quality work placement.

The Department keeps all aspects of its activation programmes under review to ensure the best outcomes for participants and communities whilst also having regard to the, thankfully, much reduced number of people claiming jobseeker payments. The Government is very mindful of the large number of work programme places involved in service delivery and other valuable services to individuals and communities across Ireland. In this regard if any scheme is experiencing particular recruitment difficulties, they should contact their local Department Intreo Centre for assistance.