Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (658)

Bernard Durkan


658. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if reconsideration will be given to an extension of time on community employment schemes in the case of persons (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28003/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The persons concerned were originally approved for participation on Community Employment (CE) under the Part-Time Integration (PTI) option.

Under the PTI option, a person may be eligible to participate on CE for a maximum continuous period of two years. After the two year period elapses, they must leave the program and be on the live register for 12 months before re-qualifying for any additional participation on CE. Any further participation on CE is limited to a maximum lifetime duration of 3 years for persons under 55 years of age and 6 years for persons over 55 year of age.

The first person concerned will complete his 6th year on CE on the 27/9/2019 and will have reached the maximum eligible time on CE on this date. Unfortunately, he does not qualify for a further extension beyond this date.

The second person concerned will complete his 6th year on CE on the 16/8/2019 and will have reached the maximum eligible time on this date. However, as the participant is over 62 he can be considered for the ‘Special Stream 62 initiative. To qualify, the position must be approved by the Sponsor in the first instance and there must be vacancy on the scheme on the participants finish date i.e. 16/8/2019.

The Department's activation services are available to the persons concerned, to work with them to ensure that the benefits of the experience and training they received during their time on CE are maximised. This process will help identify potential employment opportunities and offer support to them in overcoming any barriers to employment.

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 Interdepartmental Group was charged with the task of examining the options in this regard and I expect to have a final report shortly.

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.