Written answers

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Department of Social Protection

Departmental Staff

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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73. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of case officers in her Department working directly with jobseekers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27282/15]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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Case officers employed by the Department deliver activation and case management services through Intreo centres and through the network of Departmental offices which are currently transitioning to a full Intreo service. Case officers generally work in teams dedicated to activating clients and supporting them in various ways in their efforts to regain employment. The team-based approach helps to maximise efficiency and effectiveness and to ensure that a streamlined service is provided to jobseeker clients.

The total number of staff dedicated to providing activation and case management support services is currently 500 (Whole-Time Equivalents), not including clerical support. This number is subject to change over time as staff retire, are re-assigned, are promoted etc. and is kept under review. In addition, there are 42 case officer vacancies at present.

In common with all Government Departments, this Department must operate within an Employment Control Framework target, set by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and within this, activation and control functions are prioritised as resources allow.

The Local Employment Service, which the Department contracts annually, supplements its own employment service provision and provides vocational guidance, employment supports and mediation to jobseekers and others. In the region of 160 mediators are currently employed by 21 Local Development Companies and 1 Community Group as part of the contractual arrangements in place with the Department.

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