Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (490)

Seán Canney

Question:

490. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Social Protection if her Department will facilitate Tús operators by providing a bigger pool of eligible candidates in order that Tús operators can fill all the vacancies on Tús schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6446/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Tús is a targeted activation measure specifically designed and delivered to those jobseekers who are on the live register and have been unemployed for twelve months or more. Eligible jobseekers can commence on Tús following their random selection and referral by the Department to the Implementing Bodies (IBs) who deliver Tús or by self-referral for eligible jobseekers actively seeking to avail of these employment opportunities.

The number of jobseekers that can be referred from the random selection process is determined by the number of jobseekers on the live register that satisfy the Tús scheme qualifying criteria. In addition to those candidates identified by the Department, up to 30% of all available Tús placements may be filled by self-referral.

The number of eligible jobseekers that have been referred to the IBs over the past year has been impacted by the challenges presented during the Covid-19 emergency and the public health restrictions introduced. Throughout these public health restrictions, my Department has continued to provide funding for Tús participants and IBs, ensuring the ongoing provision of the valuable services delivered by projects. The Department has also extended participant contracts for those individuals who would have been due to finish on Tús schemes during the Level-5 restricted periods.

The latest Tús contract extension date is 26th March 2021 and the cessation of participants' contracts after that date, will be undertaken on a coordinated and phased basis over the period of a number of months.

IBs are advised to continue with their recruitment activities where there are active Tús placements available, and where it is safe to do so.

Once the current public health restrictions are lifted and the country returns to normal business operations there will be a renewed emphasis on the identification, selection and referral of eligible jobseekers to Tús to fill vacancies. The filling of vacancies will be prioritized. .

I am fully committed to Tús and recognise the work undertaken by Tús projects in the delivery of valuable services to local communities throughout the country.