Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Employment Support Services
80. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a scoping exercise has been carried out to test whether there are sufficient competent entities such as private for profit, non-profit, limited by guarantee companies and charities to constitute a competitive market for the intended provision of employment services. [48587/21]
My Department is now at an advanced stage in its first phase of procuring new employment services. This phase involves the procurement of regional employment services for seven counties in the Midlands and North-West across four lots. These counties do not have an existing local employment service and represent the first phase of an expansion of similar employment services across.
The Phase two procurement, which will see the Regional Employment Service model rolled out across the State will take on board the learnings of the first phase. This is a significant expansion of employment services and will result in State-wide coverage of employment services for those furthest from the labour market for the first time.
This procurement process follows extensive consultations by my Department with the existing service providers and employee representative over the last number of years.
The presence of an existing vibrant market of disparate service providers strongly indicates that the necessary capacity for procuring the Regional Employment Service is present. The large turnout of potential tenders at an online procurement information session for phase 1 of RES confirms that position.