Thursday, 27 June 2019

Questions (241)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy


241. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if progress has been made in resolving issues regarding community employment scheme workers approaching retirement age to allow them to remain on the scheme until reaching pension age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27209/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Community Employment (CE) is an employment and training scheme 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 scheme assists by enhancing and developing a person’s technical and personal skills which can then be used in the workplace.

Participants and supervisors on CE schemes are employees of private companies in the community and voluntary sector that receive public funding. My Department provides funding in respect of the participant and supervisors' payroll for individuals up to State Pension age.

Under the Service Support Stream (SSS) participants aged 62 years and over who meet the CE eligibility requirements may remain continuously on CE up to the State Pension age.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government agreed to establish an Interdepartmental Group (IDG) to explore how social inclusion schemes might best be organised into the future including which Department should hold lead responsibility for sponsoring CE schemes focused on social Inclusion. The deliberations of the group will also inform any further consideration to review participation limits.