I propose to take Questions Nos. 218 and 219 together.
As the Deputy will be aware the JobPath activation service is to help long term unemployed jobseekers to find sustainable full time work. For the purposes of the departments activation services all long-term unemployed jobseekers on the Live Register, aged between 18 and 61 years old inclusive, are categorised into groups based on their duration of unemployment (e.g. 1- 2 years, 2 – 3 years etc.). Selection for referral to receive employment activation services from a JobPath provider is by means of system based stratified random sampling using these groupings; the objective being to ensure equity in selection and also that people referred to JobPath are a representative of the long term cohort on the Live Register.
The duration of a person's jobseekers claim is recorded in terms of days of unemployment, any two such periods not separated by more than 52 weeks are considered to be the same continuous period of unemployment - this is known as linking the claims. Long-term jobseekers that may have left the live register to go into employment for less than a year are still considered to be long-term if they reopen their claim within that 52 week period.
The linking of claims allows the client to retain certain entitlements (for example no waiting days and other supplemental benefits) and they are also available for selection for activation services including JobPath.
For those people who are referred to the JobPath service after a short period of work, the support and assistance of their personal advisor will ensure that the skills and experience they have gained in the job are built on if necessary and, that they are factored into all future job applications.
Between July 2015 and October 2019, some 244,219 jobseekers had commenced their engagement period with the JobPath service. Of this number some 33,360 or approximately 14% were working part time & in receipt of a jobseekers payment.
JobPath is a payment by results model and all set-up and day-to-day operational costs are borne by the companies. JobPath providers receive a registration fee each time they register a jobseeker for the service. However the Jobseeker may be withdrawn from the service if they have a change of circumstances. Some common examples of a change of circumstances are for jobseekers to avail of a back to education opportunity or move to another payment, for example disability allowance, illness benefit or carer’s allowance. If after their education course has finished they remain unemployed they may be re-registered to a JobPath provider. Clients who move address to an area operated by a different provider of the JobPath service will also be re-registered to the new JobPath provider. Registration fees are only incurred when a client engages with the JobPath service and agrees a personal progression plan.
Between July 2015 and October 2019, 156,787 registration fees have been paid for clients who have been referred once. In the same time period 81,714 registration fees have been paid for 40,857 jobseekers who have had two referrals, of which 27,920 jobseekers were those referred after completing a full previous engagement with the service. The balance of 12,937, were withdrawn from JobPath due to their circumstances changing but subsequently re-referred as they reinstated their jobseekers claim.
4,908 registration fees have been paid for 1,636 jobseekers who have had three referrals, of which 1,330 were those referred after completing two full previous engagements with the service. Lastly there have been 32 registration fees paid for 8 jobseekers who have had four referrals to JobPath, none of whom have previously completed three full engagements with JobPath.