Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Topical Issue Debate

JobPath Implementation

4:15 pm

Photo of Seán KyneSeán Kyne (Galway West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputy for tabling this Topical Issue to my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, who, unfortunately, has been called away at short notice. I am taking this on his behalf.

JobPath is an employment activation service that supports people who are long-term unemployed and those most distant from the labour market to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. It is one of a range of activation supports, including schemes such as Tús and the community employment, CE, scheme, catering for long-term unemployed jobseekers. Participants on JobPath receive intensive individual support to help them to overcome barriers to employment and to assist them in finding full-time sustainable jobs. Each person is assigned to a personal adviser who assesses the individual's skills, experience, challenges and work goals. The personal adviser works with the jobseeker to agree a personal progression plan that includes a schedule of activities, actions and job focused targets. Jobseekers are also provided with a range of training and development supports including online modules, career advice, CV preparation and interview skills. They spend a year on JobPath and if they are placed in a job, they will continue to receive support for at least three months and up to 12 months while in employment. During their time on JobPath, they may also be referred for further education and training opportunities. Payments to JobPath providers are linked to, and dependent on, the success of the programme in placing clients into full-time sustained employment and on the quality of services provided.

CE and Tús schemes provide long-term unemployed people with part-time experience as a stepping stone back to employment. However, they are not full sustainable jobs. To manage the allocation of activation support places effectively, the Department does not facilitate or encourage jobseekers to leave one scheme early to take up a place on another scheme. However, where a person is selected for JobPath and has a confirmed start date for another programme, including CE and Tús, then the person is allowed to start on the other programme if he or she so wishes. Participation in other schemes and programmes, including Tús and CE schemes, remains an option that will be assessed by the Department’s case officers once the jobseeker’s participation on JobPath is completed.

The Deputy is correct that I have come across cases like those he mentioned in our constituency. I hope the same people are not approaching both of us.


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