Written answers

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Rural Social Scheme

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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304. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application to remain on the rural social scheme will be approved in the case of a person (details suppled). [29839/20]

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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The person concerned completed his overall lifetime limit of 6 years on the Community Employment (CE) Programme (rather than the Rural Social Scheme) on 21st August 2020. During his time on CE he completed 7 modules of training, and achieved a QQI Major award in Hard Landscape Construction. The purpose of the training and support that the person concerned received while on CE was to prepare him for full-time sustainable employment.

The aim of the CE programme is to enhance the employability of disadvantaged and unemployed people by providing work experience and training opportunities for them within their communities. The programme helps break the cycle of unemployment and improve a person’s chances of returning to the labour market. Participation on CE is intended to be for a temporary fixed-term. These placements are not full-time sustainable jobs. There are participation limits in place to ensure that as many unemployed people as possible are able to benefit from the scheme.

The Department's Activation service can work with the person concerned to ensure that the benefits and experience he received during his time on CE are maximised. This process will help identify potential employment opportunities and offer support to him in overcoming any barriers to employment.

Under the Service Support Stream (SSS) of the CE Programme, participants aged 62 years and over may remain continuously on CE up to the State pension age subject to availability of places on the SSS, satisfactory performance on the project, the agreement of the sponsoring organisation and approval by the Department as SSS places are subject to a limit to 10% of participants per individual CE project. The person concerned may apply for the Service Support Scheme on reaching 62 years.


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