I propose to take Questions Nos. 620 and 621 together.
JobPath is an employment activation service which supports jobseekers to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. Following the completion of a rigorous public procurement process, two companies were selected to provide the JobPath service - Turas Nua Limited and Seetec Business Technology Centre Limited. Contracts were signed on 5th June 2015 and the roll-out of the service commenced on 20th July 2015.
The terms of the contracts signed with the companies provided for a duration of at least six years, comprising two consecutive phases: phase one entailed four years of client referrals, while phase two entailed a ‘run off’ period during which time no additional clients were to be referred. The contract includes an option to extend the term of referrals for a period no greater than two years.
My Department has agreed with the JobPath providers to extend phase one of the contracts for a further twelve months until the end of 2020, which will enable referrals to continue throughout next year. This is not a renewal of the JobPath contracts, but the execution of the extension clauses of the existing contracts.
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 Department's 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.
Between July 2015 and October 2019, some 247,296 jobseekers had commenced their engagement period with the JobPath service, Monthly Totals are set out in Table.
The total number of Jobseekers above has been listed by the duration of time spent on the Live Register, at the time of referral, in Table 2. The tables are available at the following link.
I trust that this clarifies matter for the Deputy.