Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Employment Support Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (44)

Pádraig O'Sullivan


44. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection the criteria used to develop a new model for employment services; the engagement that has taken place with existing providers of local employment services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57693/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

My Department is now at an advanced stage in its first phase of procuring new employment services. This phase involves the procurement of regional employment services for seven counties in the Midlands and North-West across four lots. These counties do not have an existing local employment service and represent the first phase of an expansion of similar employment services across the State. The Phase Two procurement, which will see the Regional Employment Service model rolled out across the State will take on board the learnings of the first phase.

My Department’s primary criteria for new models of employment service were that any future employment services would comply fully with all procurement regulations, that they be consistent with best international practices and provide value for money for taxpayers while retaining the key features of a service that could best engage with the long-term unemployed and others distant from the labour market. Good governance requires that my Department delivers a new model of employment services which entails enhanced key performance indicators and better visibility of the work of employment service providers.

This procurement process follows extensive consultations by my Department with the existing service providers and employee representatives over the last number of years.Officials in my Department also visited every Local Employment Service and Job Club in 2019 to get their views on the design of a new employment service model. Many of the suggestions made then, including multi-annual contracts and greater financial autonomy, were incorporated into the Regional Employment Service model. My officials have continued an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders and employee representatives in the context of both Phases One and Two of the procurement process. However, my Department must adhere to its public procurement obligations and procure these new high-quality employment services in an open and competitive manner that is fair to all interested parties.