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Disability Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (458)

Claire Kerrane


458. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection the measures in place to support persons with disabilities with employment and employability services; the way additional needs of persons with disabilities will be incorporated into the forthcoming tender for employment services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29533/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

My Department recognises the additional difficulties people with disabilities experience in securing and maintaining paid employment. To this end, my Department has contracts for the provision of the Employability services to help address these difficulties. These services are currently delivered under contract by 24 different organisations located around the country. The total value of the contracts for 2021 is approximately €10m.

The Employability services provide support and advice to people with disabilities to facilitate their integration into paid employment. Integration is an essential feature of the Employability services: People with disabilities have an entitlement to full participation in society and paid employment.

It is not envisaged that the open competitive tendering processes for employment services, which my Department are undertaking this year, will include the supports currently delivered by the Employability service. My Department will be developing a new model of contracting for these Employability services over the next year, with a view to having these important services procured in a manner that is consistent with the State's obligations under national and EU procurement rules. It is envisaged this process will see these services procured in an open and competitive manner during 2022 with new contracts being in place for 2023.