Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2746)

Carol Nolan


2746. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a review regarding community employment schemes and eligibility of participants to continue on the schemes until they reach State pension age has been carried out; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33124/19]

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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.

Currently, participants aged 62 and over can apply to participate on CE on a continuous basis up to State Pension age on the CE Service Support Stream (SSS). The places allocated to the SSS are subject to limitation and criteria.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government agreed to establish an Inter-departmental Group (IDG) to explore how the CE social inclusion placements 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

Meetings of the IDG have taken place and bilateral meetings were held with appropriate Departments. There has also been a consultative process with relevant stakeholders and their submissions are being considered as part of the deliberation process. I expect to have a final report in the near future.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.