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Labour Market

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 15 January 2014

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ceisteanna (346)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

346. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Social Protection if she has consulted any independent agencies which specialise in the role of labour market reactivation and assisting the long-term unemployed to get back to work when she was drawing up the JobPath programme initiative; the names of the agencies consulted and the basis on which they were consulted; the reasons she did not consult any agencies if no consultation process took place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [55357/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

In November 2012, following a public procurement competition, the Department engaged the London based Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Inclusion) to provide expert advice and assistance with the design and delivery of an employment service model (“JobPath”). Inclusion is the UK’s leading not-for-profit company dedicated to tackling disadvantage and promoting social inclusion in the labour market.

The design of JobPath was overseen by an Interdepartmental Board, chaired by the Department. The board also had representatives from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the National Economic and Social Council, the Offices of the Attorney General and the Chief State Solicitor.

On 1 July 2013, the Department published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in which it notified the market that it was considering the potential of contracting private/third party providers of employment services. A consultation process was initiated whereby the Department held two information sessions in late July at which it outlined its thinking in relation to JobPath and invited responses. These events were attended by over 200 individuals representing a wide range of organisations involved in labour market activation. The Department also set up a dedicated email address to facilitate questions and feedback. A full list of the attendees and a question and answer document were published on the Department’s website (www.welfare.ie).

The feedback from the consultation process, the advice and assistance provided by Inclusion as well as the Department’s own extensive research of employment service models in other jurisdictions all contributed to the final design of JobPath.

On 12 December 2013, the Department published a contract notice inviting tenders for the provision of employment services (JobPath). The closing date for receipt of JobPath tenders is 28 February 2014.

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