Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (565)

Thomas Gould

Question:

565. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Social Protection if support will be given to a community centre (details supplied) and other similar projects to form a company with the intention of sponsorship with the aim of continuing their participation in the community employment scheme. [38220/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Community Employment (CE) is a positive initiative that enables the long-term unemployed to make a contribution to their Communities whilst upskilling themselves for employment opportunities. The Scheme can play an important role in breaking the cycle of long-term unemployment for some people and improve their chances of employment.

Where a sponsor wishes to apply for funding for a new scheme there is a standard application process which involves consideration by our Monitoring Committee, and any application for a new scheme is required to go through that process. Should the centre establish a Sponsoring body and wish to apply for a new CE scheme, the Community Development Officer can advise them regarding the process to be followed. Any application for new places will have to be considered in the context of the needs of all schemes across the region and the overall allocation of places.

The community centre in question has approval for 8 Community Employment (CE) places and I can confirm that my Department is willing to continue to approve this level of support to the centre so that they can continue to support the local and voluntary groups that use it. A Community Development Officer is currently engaged with the centre in relation to identifying other CE schemes that they could approach in relation to sponsorship and if successful the Department will facilitate the transfer of places.