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Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions (25 Nov 2021)

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Steven Matthews: 6. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in County Wicklow who were in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment but who have since returned to work in some capacity and are no longer in receipt of this payment or the jobseeker's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57935/21]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Steven Matthews: This morning, I wish to ask the Minister about the number of persons in County Wicklow who were in receipt of the PUP but who have since returned to work in some capacity and are no longer in receipt of the payment or the jobseeker's allowance. I ask that she please provide me with the figures in that regard.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Heather Humphreys: I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. As the Deputy will be aware, this country faced an unprecedented shock to the labour market because of the pandemic, with more than 1.7 million claims for support and 871,500 people claiming at least one pandemic unemployment payment since the payment was introduced in March 2020. The equivalent figure for those who claimed at least one PUP payment...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Steven Matthews: It is positive that the figures are going in the right direction. That is good to see. I always try to take the opportunity to acknowledge the work that goes on in the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners. The local employment offices were of great assistance to people in the past 18 months. It is positive when people go back to work and...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Heather Humphreys: We did have a number of measures. Self-employed people on the PUP can earn up to €960 every eight weeks and it will not affect their payment. I acknowledge what the Deputy said regarding those in the music industry. It has been a very difficult time for them but, thankfully, weddings are still taking place. One venue I heard about has a wedding every single day for the month of...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Steven Matthews: As the Minister knows, I engage regularly with the music and entertainment industry and I will continue to engage with the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Humphreys, and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Deputy Catherine Martin, on that. The Minister mentioned the pathways to work scheme. We must look at how we can encourage or assist people into...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (25 Nov 2021)

Heather Humphreys: I agree with Deputy Matthews that we need to do that. We have the pathways to work strategy and we are working on it. The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Deputy Harris, is committed to providing 50,000 additional education and training places, supporting the delivery of actions set out in the apprenticeship action plan and supporting 50,000...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Community Employment Schemes (25 Nov 2021)

Community Employment Schemes

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Community Employment Schemes (25 Nov 2021)

Claire Kerrane: 7. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way she intends to fill the current gaps left as a result of those departing community employment positions, particularly with regard to community employment referrals and in circumstances in which there is difficulty replacing persons in these important roles; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57828/21]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Community Employment Schemes (25 Nov 2021)

Claire Kerrane: I wish to ask the Minister about community employment places. The six-year rule means people must leave community employment schemes because they have no choice. In some cases, a person who leaves is not replaced and the important service that community employment provides in a community can then be lost.

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Social Welfare Benefits (25 Nov 2021)

Heather Humphreys: I appreciate the Deputy's comments, especially about the live entertainment sector. It is important to say that we are in a much better position now than previously. Music is now allowed at weddings. Indeed, I was at a wedding last Sunday and was delighted to see three different sets of musicians playing. In total, there were nine people employed at that one wedding for the day. I was...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Social Welfare Benefits (25 Nov 2021)

Claire Kerrane: I will take the Minister at her word that the possible reopening of the PUP will remain under close review. Hopefully not many workers will actually need it because we will not see a total shutdown but the PUP should be there as a support for people. In terms of those who have moved onto jobseeker payments, many will be getting jobseeker's benefit but a number of people will be moving on to...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Social Welfare Benefits (25 Nov 2021)

Heather Humphreys: We have the pathways to work strategy to help people to get back to work and to help those who want to upskill or reskill. Supports are there for people and a lot of investment has gone into pathways to work through the further education system and through my Department. We want to work with people and we want to help them because it is not an easy time for them. In terms of the PUP, it...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Social Welfare Benefits (25 Nov 2021)

Question No. 4 replied to with Written Answers.

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Employment Support Services (25 Nov 2021)

Employment Support Services

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Employment Support Services (25 Nov 2021)

Catherine Connolly: 5. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the analysis her Department has carried out into the lessons learned from the first phase of procurement for the new regional employment service model; her plans to publish this analysis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57995/21]

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Employment Support Services (25 Nov 2021)

Catherine Connolly: What analysis has been carried out by the Department of Social Protection and what has been learned from the roll-out of the first phase of the procurement for the new regional employment service and equally important, will that analysis be published?

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Employment Support Services (25 Nov 2021)

Heather Humphreys: I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. My Department is now at an advanced stage in its first phase of a two-phase procurement of new employment services. This procurement process follows extensive engagement by my Department with existing service partners over the last number of years. The new regional employment service model will extend high quality employment services across the...

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