Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (1054)

John Brady

Question:

1054. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if referrals to JobPath will be made in 2020. [44674/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

JobPath is a contracted public employment service supporting people who are long-term unemployed to secure and sustain full time paid employment. Two companies, Seetec and Turas Nua, are currently contracted by my Department to deliver the service.

The JobPath employment service commenced in 2015 and, under the terms of the contracts signed with the providers, was to run for at least six years comprising two consecutive phases: phase one entailed four years’ of client referrals, while phase two entailed a ‘run off’ period during which time no additional clients were to be referred. Therefore client referrals were originally due to cease on 31 December 2019. The contract includes an option to extend the term of referrals for a period no greater than two years.

My Department has agreed with the JobPath providers to extend phase one of the contracts for a further twelve months until the end of 2020, which will enable referrals to continue throughout next year. This is not a renewal of the JobPath contracts, but the execution of the extension clauses of the existing contracts. This extension is important as it will ensure that the Government retains the necessary labour activation capacity to deal with any labour market uncertainty that arises as a result of Brexit.

In addition, it provides my Department with the opportunity review all contracted public employment services and to design and introduce a comprehensive model that will incorporate various models of response and be fit for purpose for the Irish labour market from 2021 onwards.