Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Community Employment Schemes
996. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if participants on community employment schemes can continue to do worthwhile work in their community, such as grass cutting and general maintenance in the public areas of housing estates. [10979/20]
The Community Employment (CE) programme is a community centred labour market initiative established for the purposes of social inclusion and activation, to help long-term unemployed people and other vulnerable groups to enter the workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment.
CE projects are sponsored by groups wishing to benefit the local community, namely voluntary and community organisations and, to a lesser extent, public bodies involved in not-for-profit activities. CE sponsor groups provide valuable and dedicated services in communities all over the country and we simply could not sustain a lot of our local community services without the work undertaken in these projects.
Eligible work placements under CE are those that respond to an identified community need and provide development opportunities for participants in areas involving heritage, arts, culture, tourism, sport and the environment. CE projects must not displace or replace existing jobs, have sufficient insurance cover for the types of work undertaken and offer valuable work experience to the CE participants.
The range of community and voluntary services delivered by the Department’s employment support schemes does not extend to cover privately held dwellings or business premises or related amenities. However, I recognise the excellent work undertaken by our tidy towns committees throughout the country and CE participants will continue to work with tidy towns committees to complete eligible work plans and provide valuable services to their communities.
CE sponsoring authorities have recommenced recruitment to their CE Schemes in keeping with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Department officials will continue to work with CE sponsoring authorities to ensure a smooth transition to normal operations over the coming period.