Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Department of Social and Family Affairs
Question 321: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if a job facilitator post is in place at all social welfare offices; the availability of such persons to those seeking employment; the average waiting time for an interested party to receive access to a job facilitator; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7142/09]
FÁS is the National Training and Employment Authority and the main agency to provide jobseeking support to all individuals on the live register who are seeking employment or education opportunities. The Department of Social and Family Affairs facilitators work closely with FÁS and other agencies at national and local level to identify and target appropriate education, training and development opportunities for social welfare recipients. The facilitator programme is designed as a targeted approach involving active case management and the development of an individualised progression plan. Under the National Development Plan (NDP) the Department has expanded its facilitator network. A facilitator service is available to its customers at local offices. When a person wishes to see a facilitator, the relevant facilitator is notified, and an appointment is scheduled for the person.
The Department is committed to providing a quality customer service. In the current economic climate the demand for the facilitator service is elevated. Waiting times to see a facilitator may vary nationwide. Actual waiting times for individual facilitators are not available. Facilitators make every effort to contact all interested customers as quickly as possible. Additional resources provided to the facilitator network under the NDP will help to ensure that the facilitator service is more responsive to the needs of customers.