Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Social Protection

National Internship Scheme

Photo of Willie PenroseWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour)
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To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath was classified as an adult dependant, but who in fact could have afforded a social welfare payment in their own right is not allowed to participate under the jobbridge initiative; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57604/12]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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The eligibility to access the National Internship Scheme is based on the overall Labour Market policy objective of ensuring a pathway to appropriate employment, training and education opportunities. The policy objective is to prioritise scarce resources to those in receipt of specified payments or who are on the Live Register so as to increase their chances of leaving it, thereby ensuring a reduction in Exchequer costs over time.

In pursuit of this objective, it has been decided that eligibility for the scheme should be targeted at those in receipt of a qualifying claim (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance /Signing for Credits) for 78 days out of the last 6 months. Time spent of certain other government-sponsored training may also be taken into account when calculating eligibility. The Department is not in a position to make any exceptions to these requirements.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the person concerned has never made a claim for a Job Seeker's payment. The person concerned was classified as an adult dependant by virtue of the fact that their partner made the claim for JobSeeker's Allowance and applied for an increase in his payment in respect of them as his adult dependant. It is open to the person concerned to submit a claim for a Jobseeker's payment/ sign for credits in her own right, which, if allowed, would entitle her for application to the JobBridge Scheme, once she has a live claim for the requisite number of days as outlined above.


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