Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (64)

Martin Heydon


64. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the actions taken by her Department to increase levels of participation on Tús schemes in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50354/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Tús provides work placements for a twelve month period for those who are on the Live Register for a year or more.  The initiative helps break the cycle of long-term unemployment by providing a work routine and valuable work experience.  It is a positive initiative that enables people who are long-term unemployed to make a contribution to their communities whilst up-skilling themselves for prospective future employment.

The welcome increase in the number of people at work and the continued reduction in Live Register numbers have had an impact on recruitment to all work programmes.  In this regard, the Department has implemented a number of changes to the terms and conditions of participation on Tús, in order to broaden potential availability to a greater number of people on the Live Register. 

There are two types of referral in place for the Tús initiative:

1. Random Selection - whereby customers are selected randomly and invited to participate on Tús.

2. Assisted referral or self-referral by the customer through a Case Officer or LES Mediator.  30% of available Tús places can be filled through assisted or self-referral. 

Officials from my Department work closely with Local Partnership companies to identify and refer potential participants to the Tús initiative and all requests from the local Partnerships for participants are considered. 

Ballyfermot, Newbridge and Edenderry Intreo Centres have responsibility for administering the Tús initiative in County Kildare in co-operation with the local Partnerships.  The practice in place is that Tús leaders contact these Intreo Centres when approved vacancies arise and candidates for these vacancies are randomly selected by the Department.   

To date this year, 915 customers in Co Kildare have been invited by the Department to participate on the Tus initiative and over 700 of these have been referred for interview and placement to local Partnerships.  

My Department keeps all aspects of its activation programmes under review to ensure the best outcomes for participants and communities whilst also having regard to the much reduced number of people claiming jobseeker payments.

The Government is mindful of the large number of work programme places involved in service delivery and other valuable services to individuals and communities across Ireland.  In this regard if any programme is experiencing particular recruitment difficulties, they should contact their local Intreo Centre for assistance.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.