On Monday 28th December 2020 new referrals to all contracted employment service providers including JobPath were suspended. As on previous occasions all contracted employment service providers continued to engage with their existing caseloads during these periods of suspensions of new referrals. .
Mindful of the need to support the unemployed and given the labour market impacts arising from the pandemic, the Department on the 8th of March recommenced referrals of jobseekers to its employment services. All contracted employment service providers, including the Local Employment Services and JobPath in parallel with the Intreo service, resumed new referrals on 8th March 2021. The resumption of referrals is key to the continual engagement with the long term unemployed and other cohorts to ensure they do not become further distant from the labour market.
Referrals to the Department's employment services are engaged with in accordance with the public health guidelines and dealt with on a remote basis. JobPath clients have responded positively to the remote delivery model. The same frequency of contact is delivered remotely via telephone, email and other electronic means where possible. Contracted services will where appropriate facilitate face to face meetings in line with HSE Covid-19 guidelines should any client require it.
To date in 2021, some 4,233 jobseekers have commenced their engagement with the JobPath service.
I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.