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Social Welfare Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 5 November 2013

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Ceisteanna (477)

Eric J. Byrne

Ceist:

477. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Social Protection the way the implementation of DSP's new programme JobPath will impact the current funding of the existing local employment service, LES, and the continued employment of existing staff that deliver this vital service; the timeframe in which LES contracts with the partnership companies will run in 2014 and 2015; and if the Department's position on the LES is becoming aligned with city councils and county councils under the area partnership companies. [45868/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

JobPath is the working title assigned to the Government’s proposed new programme of labour market activation aimed specifically at the long-term unemployed and those most at risk of becoming long-term unemployed. JobPath will be delivered by third party providers of employment services under contract to the Department. It is intended to publish a contract notice for the procurement of JobPath services at the end of this month. JobPath will supplement and complement existing departmental and Local Employment Service (LES) capacity. It is intended to contract for the LES service as heretofore and staffing arrangements will remain the responsibility of the contractors as employers. The process for 2014 contracts will be finalised over the coming weeks and the contract process for 2015 will be finalised towards the end of next year. The funding for 2014 will remain at the same level as the current year.

The alignment process that is being overseen by the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government and the potential implications for the delivery of Local Employment Services are currently being considered by an Inter-Departmental Group on which the Department is represented. It is the Department’s intention to continue contracting for Local Employment Services under the new structural arrangements.

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