Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Employment Support Services
My matter is similar to that raised by Senator Reilly, although it is more specific. What will be future of local employment services, job clubs and their employees following the establishment of local community development committees? Many of the employees have more than 20 years' experience and they have the expertise, knowledge and wherewithal to carry out the job. Their work complements that of Intreo offices. They offer a fantastic service and they have done tremendous work for the unemployed. They were doing this work long before Intreo offices. I hope the Minister will consider taking local employment services under the umbrella of her Department. This would be cost-neutral because the Department pays the wages of the LES employees. They do the same work as departmental officials. I understand the Minister has taken advice from the Offices of the Chief State Solicitor and the Attorney General regarding the procurement and contractual arrangements for LES providers and job clubs. Is the advice to hand? If so, can the Minister of State share it with the House? What is the future of the services and job clubs? The employees should have stability. They do not know where they stand but they are entitled to know.