Written answers

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Employment Schemes

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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418. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of young persons under 25 years of age who were on the youth employment support scheme in January 2020 and January 2021; the funding allocated to support young persons under 25 on the scheme in 2020 and 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2989/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) was introduced on 1st October 2018 and was targeted at young jobseekers aged between 18 and 24 who were long-term unemployed or who faced barriers to employment. Participation in the scheme was voluntary. The scheme aimed to provide jobseekers with the opportunity to learn basic work and social skills in a supportive environment while on a work placement. The scheme, which was one of a number of measures under the National Youth Guarantee, provided a supportive structure for participants, including case worker support for both placement hosts and jobseekers. The scheme was open to host organisations operating in private, community and voluntary sectors.

A total of 1,016 people participated in the scheme over the period from 1st October 2018 until the scheme closed to new entrants on 12th July 2021 when it was incorporated into the new Work Placement Experience Programme when it was launched, as it offered an enhanced work experience opportunity for young people.

YESS participants were involved in a number of roles across of different sectors including community and voluntary, hospitality and food, ICT and telecoms, manufacturing, retail, sales and marketing, science and healthcare and construction. Recruitment to the scheme was negatively impacted by Covid-19 during 2020 and 2021, with fewer hosts advertising vacancies due to Covid restrictions and also the temporary suspension of placements due to social mobility and distancing requirements.

The Budget allocation for the programme in 2020 was €3.35m and in 2021 the figure was €2.44m.

In January 2020 there were 297 active participants on YESS with 59 closures and 46 new starts in the month. In January 2021 there were 131 active participants on YESS with 37 closures and 9 new starts that month.

When the YESS programme closed to new applicants in 12th July 2021 participants were offered the opportunity to transfer to WPEP and 14 participants availed of this option. The remaining participants completed their YESS placement with the last three participants completing their YESS placements in December 2021. To date 46 clients aged under 25 year-old's are active or approved for participation on WPEP.

The following table shows YESS participant activity for January 2020 and 2021.

YESS Claims 2020 2021
Total Active YESS Participants in January 297 131
January Starts 46 9
January Finishers 59 37

The following table shows YESS Budget Allocations for 2020 and 2021.

Year YESS Budget Allocation
2020 €3,350
201 €2,440

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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419. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of young persons under 25 years of age supported by the JobsPlus youth scheme in 2020, 2021 and to date in 2022; the funding allocated to support young persons under 25 years on the scheme in 2020 and 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2990/22]

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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420. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of employers who have applied for and received the enhanced JobsPlus youth scheme subsidy for employing young persons aged between 25 to 29 years of age since July 2020; and the number of young persons aged 25 to 29 years supported on the JobsPlus scheme since July 2020 [2991/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 419 and 420 together.

JobsPlus provides a direct monthly financial incentive to employers who recruit employees from the Live Register and those transitioning into full time employment. It provides employers with two levels of payment; €7,500 or €10,000 over two years, with the level of payment depending on the age of the jobseeker and the length of time on the live register or in receipt of a qualifying payment.

Government's employment services strategy, Pathways to Work 2021 to 2025, committed to increasing the number of available places on JobsPlus to 8,000 per annum and funding is in place this year to support this number of places. Places are not ring-fenced for any one demographic over another.

In order to support young persons seeking employment, jobseekers under 30 can qualify for Jobplus at an earlier stage than older age cohorts. Jobseekers under 30 can qualify for JobsPlus once they have been on the Live Register for 4 months in the previous 6 months. The equivalent time for persons over 30 is 12 months on the Live Register.

Table 1 provides details of the number of JobsPlus Employees aged under 25 supported in 2020 and 2021, in addition to those supported in January 2022. COVID public health restrictions impacted on the numbers of participants on Jobsplus during these periods.

JobsPlus employees under 25 years supported in 2020 JobsPlus employees under 25 years supported in 2021 JobsPlus employees under 25 years who will be supported in January 2022
412 272 152

Table 2 below contains the total number of JobsPlus employers and their respective JobsPlus employees aged between 25 to 29 years of age who were supported on the JobsPlus scheme since July 2020.

Employers Employees aged 25-29
205 222

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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