Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (650, 651, 652)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

650. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address concerns that those engaged with the services provided by Turas Nua and who are employed in part-time work are being pressured to leave their part-time employment and pursue unsuitable or full-time employment at great distance or expense from the location they reside and thus nullifying an income gain; if she will consider limiting the mandatory engagement with Turas Nua to those who are full-time unemployed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11645/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

651. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of part-time or casual workers required to attend Turas Nua in each of the past three years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11647/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

652. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of those who have transitioned to full-time work from part-time or casual work through engaging with the services provided by Turas Nua; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11648/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 650 to 652, inclusive, together.

All jobseekers including those who are working part time and in receipt of Jobseeker payments from my Department are required to be actively seeking and available for full time employment and to engage with my Department's activation services

JobPath provides an intensive personal activation service, which focuses on the skills and experience of each person. In the case of people already in part-time employment, this may focus on options or opportunities in their current job to increase their level of employment. Alternatively, this could also entail looking at possibilities in other areas, which may require some training but could provide a more sustainable income and a move away requiring a jobseekers payment. It is important therefore that these jobseekers continue to engage with their JobPath provider.

Jobseekers referred to JobPath who are also working part-time will have all activities including meetings with their personal advisor scheduled around their work commitments and the JobPath contractors are required to be flexible in the provision of the service in that respect.

Often a lack of adequate and affordable transport is a barrier to people returning to employment. Turas Nua works to help their clients put solutions in place not only for their appointments but also to prepare them for the reality of returning to full-time work. Personal Advisers work with clients on their barriers to employment to ensure that when a suitable employment opportunity presents itself that they have a potential solution in place.

When a person is considering applying for a particular position, the Personal Adviser, where appropriate will discuss the journey time to the job and the person's available transport options. The financial implications of returning to work are also discussed and information is given on payments such as the Working Family Payment and the Back to Work Family Dividend. Turas Nua provide a Job Start Information Pack for their clients containing relevant information on returning to work and also provide in- work support for up to 52 weeks after the person commences employment over 30 hours per week.

From the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2018 approximately 12,700 part-time or casual workers have been referred to Turas Nua, of which over 4,000 have commenced full-time work to date, as set out in table 1 below.

It should be noted that many of these clients are currently still engaged with JobPath, are still in the first phase of the service and thus will not have had sufficient time with the service to have gained employment. Performance will improve over time as more clients complete their engagement with the service.

Table 1

Year

Casual/Part time jobseekers engaged by Turas Nua

Commenced full time employment

2016

799

312

2017

7008

2746

2018

4955

1337

Totals

12762

4395

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.