Written Answers. - Social Employment Schemes.

Eric J. Byrne

Ceist:

238 Mr. Byrne asked the Minister for Labour if records are kept of persons who have been engaged on social employment schemes; if he will confirm that 12 months must elapse before an applicant can be eligible for a second or subsequent placement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I can confirm that FÁS maintains records of participants on the Social Employment Schemes. Details of such records are a day-to-day matter for FÁS.

The purpose of the Social Employment Scheme is to give as many long term unemployed as possible opportunities to become involved in a work related situation on a part-time basis for 52 weeks. Normally participants are not re-engaged within 12 months. However in exceptional circumstances the re-engagement of persons who have completed projects has been allowed. I am on record as saying that I think it is desirable to keep the number of extensions to a minimum in view of the numbers of long term unemployed awaiting opportunities to participate in the scheme.