The primary purpose of JobPath is to provide a case management based, employment advice and counselling service to long term unemployed jobseekers. Between July 2015 and September 2019, some 241,346 jobseekers had commenced their engagement period with the JobPath service. Of this number, 52% were unemployed for over three years. This group, in particular, faces significant barriers when seeking to enter or return to employment in the labour market.
To date, some 55,490 jobseekers have commenced employment during their engagement period with Jobpath. Of this number 49,660 had commenced full-time employment and 5,830 had commenced part-time employment. Of those almost 17,000 have sustained full time employment for a period of 12 months or more. It should be noted that many clients who are currently engaged with JobPath are still in the first phase of the service. They have not had sufficient time with the service to have gained employment nor sustain that employment for up to 52 weeks.
Furthermore, as many clients who have commenced employment did so less than 12 months the numbers sustaining employment for over 12 months is expected to increase over time.
The econometric review of JobPath undertaken by my Department in partnership with the OECD noted that the weekly employment earnings of people who secured employment with the JobPath service are 17% higher than the weekly employment earnings of people who secured employment without the support of JobPath in 2018. Taken with the 26% improvement in employment outcomes in the same period, it means the overall positive employment/earnings impact is 37% in 2018 for those supported by the JobPath service. These findings indicate that jobseekers who engage with JobPath are significantly more likely to get a positive employment outcome than those not supported by the service.
In regard to continuous employment lasting longer than 52 weeks, the JobPath programme specifically requires follow up and in-work support from the contractor and sustained employment during this period is recorded. I am advised that currently, the activation services of the Department do not track continuous employment for customers who would have ended a Jobseekers claim over 12 months previously.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.