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. 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.
Indecon, in its reviews of the LES and Job Clubs published in last January, recommended the Department consider the introduction of multiannual contracts and a competitive procurement process for future provision of these services.
This provides my Department with the opportunity to 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.
In September, my Department published a Request for Tender for consultancy services, to provide advice and support regarding the future of the State’s public employment service and assist with the procurement of contracted public employment services in Ireland, covering the period 2021-2025. It is anticipated that the successful tenderer will provide the Department with a final report in 2020.