Tuesday, 20 September 2022
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Community Employment Schemes
359. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the materials grant to community employment schemes will be increased in view of the current issue of high inflation which is making the cost of materials prohibitively expensive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45759/22]
379. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the materials grant to community employment schemes will be increased in view of the current issue of high inflation which is making the cost of materials prohibitively expensive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45804/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 359 and 379 together.
Community Employment (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.It supports projects that provide work experience for long term unemployed persons. The programme is delivered through CE sponsor organisations in the community and voluntary sector.
CE sponsor organisations receive annual contracts from my department, which funds the employment of both CE participants and CE supervisors. Funding is also provided towards training and material costs. The materials grant is a contribution towards the running costs of the scheme and covers consumable services and materials necessary for the effective operation of the CE project including such items as employers and public liability insurance, tools, stationery, audit fees, bank charges (excluding bank interest), protective clothing and the hiring of equipment.
The Department provided an additional materials allocation of €2 million in Budget 2019. This additional annual provision continues to be allocated to those projects that identify a valid requirement for additional materials funding. The material grant provided to CE sponsor organisations in 2021 was €12.1 million.Decisions in relation to the allocation for 2023 will form part of part of the annual Budget and Estimates process
If a CE sponsor organisation is experiencing difficulty with rising costs and is seeking further funding under the materials grant, they should make an application through my Department's Community Development Officer assigned to their CE scheme.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.