Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (510)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

510. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 176 of 28 January 2021, the reason community employment schemes must notify her Department of their vacancies via weekly listings when these vacancies are already on the JobsIreland.ie website; if her Department actively monitors the website; the steps her Department takes to respond to vacancies on the website; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7086/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Community Employment (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed-term basis.

In relation to my response to the Parliamentary Question no 176 of the 28th January, 2021, it is worth clarifying that it is not compulsory for CE sponsoring authorities to notify the Department of their CE vacancies via weekly listings. However, it is an option available to the CE sponsoring authorities in this area. This is a local initiative which was put in place to assist CE sponsoring authorities who were having difficulty filling their existing CE vacancies.

It is an additional means for CE sponsoring authorities to promote their vacancies directly through the Department’s Case Officers. This initiative has been in place for a number of years.

JobsIreland.ie is the Department’s free online job advertising and recruitment service for job candidates and employers. All jobseekers and those seeking to change jobs or return to the workforce can access JobsIreland.ie services, regardless of whether they are in receipt of a social welfare payment or not. The free web portal supports jobseekers to complete a personal profile, search for jobs, get matched to jobs that suit their skills set and experience and apply for them online.

All CE scheme vacancies are advertised on JobsIreland.ie and jobseekers are advised that they can register their interest through the website by selecting the ‘Register your interest’ button or by contacting a Case Officer in their local Intreo Centre who will determine their eligibility for the CE scheme. The facility to register interest in CE schemes on the website was introduced in August 2020 in response to the Covid 19 pandemic and details of those who have registered interest are distributed daily to the relevant Intreo Centre for follow up by the Case Officer with the jobseeker.

In addition to the expressions of interest retrieved from JobsIreland.ie, Department Case Officers can also match CE related information from the website against potential CE candidates to identify potential opportunities. Department Case Officers also use the system to review current CE vacancies with their clients to ascertain potential CE placements that are in line with an individual's employment goals; CE referrals are arranged if potential matches are identified.

I am fully committed to the future of this programme and will continue to support and improve the programme for the benefit of the CE participants and the valuable contribution being made to local communities.