Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Local Development Companies
169. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans for local development companies that unlike private entities provide a complete wrap-around service for their communities and work on an non for profit basis (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24716/21]
As part of the July jobs stimulus, the Government committed to increase resources dedicated to the delivery of employment services and to expand the coverage of the local employment type services to areas not currently covered by existing providers. My Department now intends to issue a Request for Tender (RFT) to expand local employment type services into some geographical areas where a Local Employment Service does not currently exist.
The forthcoming RFT will have no impact on the contracts of existing local employment service providers in other areas, including the Wexford Local Employment Service, and it is expected that the tender will prove attractive to local community-based organisations, including the Local Development Companies. My Department has obtained legal advice that employment assistance and advice services must be procured though open competitive procurement processes in line with EU and national procurement rules.
Separately, the current contracts for all contracted Public Employment Service (PES) provision, including the Wexford Local Employment Service, expire at the end of 2021 and my Department is therefore developing RFTs to ensure that sufficient high-quality employment services are procured in a manner that is compatible with EU and national procurement rules.
Organisations, including the Local Development Companies, with strong experience in the delivery of similar services at a community and local level, will be in a strong position to respond to the RFTs when they issue.