My Department has committed to delivering and supporting a range of assistive and targeted measures to increase employment, training and apprenticeship opportunities for Travellers in line with the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy for the years 2017-2021 inclusive.
The promotion of the availability of employment and training initiatives continues, along with the availability of relevant information material. This will be further enhanced throughout 2019.
As part of my Department’s activation programme, all jobseekers including those from the Traveller and Roma communities, in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment are obliged to engage with a Case Officer to support and progress their job searching ambitions. Supports can include education, training options, community employment and/or job placement.
It is not possible to state the actual number of those availing of activation initiatives who are members of the Traveller community as there is no obligation on a person in the Traveller community to identify themselves as such for these purposes.
There is however a provision on the Community Employment Scheme (CE) to record members of the traveller community where the person chooses to be recorded as such. There are currently 200 CE participants categorised as members of the traveller community.
The CE eligibility criteria for members of the traveller community is more flexible. The minimum entry age is set at 18 (instead of 21) for all qualifying payment categories. Jobseeker clients from the traveller community only need to be in receipt of payment for one week compared to 12 months to qualify for CE.