Tuesday, 5 February 2019
JobPath Programme: Motion [Private Members]
I support the motion and I welcome the debate on JobPath. The fact the Comptroller and Auditor General, Seamus McCarthy, told a committee meeting that only 7% were still employed after 12 months in the Seetec and Turas Nua service speaks for itself. It was also reported that 9% of people, that is, 17,100 people, were still in work after 52 weeks. The figure after 26 weeks is 14%, 12% after 39 weeks and 17% after 13 weeks. This is in the for-profit labour activation scheme. On the other hand, according to the Indecon report, the local employment service successfully achieved full-time employment placement for 30% of those referred annually. In addition, while working with lower qualification levels and those most in need of employment supports, the local employment service has progressed the majority of its remaining caseload to part-time jobs and other pathways to work, such as further training and employment schemes.
We must ask why, in 2015, Fine Gael and the Labour Party introduced JobPath and forced people through it to get to the workplace. It was about privatising our services. It is an ideological approach to our services. There were choices. We could have resourced local employment schemes, adult guidance schemes, community employment, the rural social scheme, Tús and JobsPlus but a choice was taken to hand our employment services to private labour activation schemes. I support ending the contract for JobPath and the other points made by Deputy Brady and in the Sinn Féin motion.