The Community Employment (CE) placements are categorised into two strands, Social Inclusion and Activation. The Social Inclusion placements are generally engaged in significant levels of local service support and delivery and are more suited to adults who need additional supports e.g. older unemployed workers, persons with a disability, travellers, homeless people, refugees, those requiring drug rehabilitation and ex-offenders. The Activation placements are more directly related to sustainable employment opportunities.
I am sure the Deputy will agree that these Social Inclusion placements require a separate focus to ensure that those who are very distant from the labour market and who are interested in working and delivering services in their local community have the opportunity to do so. It is also my strong view that the local services which are supported by these Social Inclusion placements must be safeguarded into the future. On this basis, I sought Government agreement to establish an Interdepartmental Group (IDG) to explore the most appropriate organisational arrangements, including which Department should host the CE Social Inclusion schemes.
The interdepartmental group will assess the best course of action required so as to protect the governance and successes that we have seen in CE activation whilst also establishing the appropriate home and structure for the social inclusion placements.
My Department currently provides funding to sponsoring organisations to cover the cost of the supervision on these schemes. The level of funding provided will continue to be in line with the level of supervision required for these schemes.