409. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the progress which has been made in developing a new employment support scheme which has the direct involvement of the Defence Forces and is aimed at persons in the 18 to 24 age group that might otherwise struggle to break out of cycles of disadvantage. (Question 18876/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - Employment Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Programme for a Partnership Government and the White Paper on Defence committed the Government to putting in place a new employment support scheme with the direct involvement of the Defence Forces. 
The objective of this scheme is to help develop a path to economic independence for participants, aged between 18 and 24 years, who are at a serious disadvantage owing to their current socio-economic situation. The scheme is de...

197. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if the planned single scheme to replace the work placement initiative, the rural social scheme, the gateway scheme and the community employment schemes will focus on individual activation rather than on the wider social inclusion and community benefit of the above named schemes; and if it is intended to consult with all the relevant stakeholders concerning the new model. (Question 33150/15 asked on 29 Sep 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 and 202 together. 
The Department of Social Protection operates a number of programmes and initiatives including the Tús – the community work placement initiative, the rural social scheme, gateway and the community employment scheme. These schemes are administered locally by local development companies, Local Authorities and local not-for-profit sponsor groups.
The primary obje...

202. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the impact on the educational outcomes of participants in community employment schemes for instance, but due to the shorter duration of the new single activation scheme being planned to replace community employment schemes, Tús - the workplace initiative, the rural social scheme and the gateway scheme. (Question 33218/15 asked on 29 Sep 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 and 202 together. 
The Department of Social Protection operates a number of programmes and initiatives including the Tús – the community work placement initiative, the rural social scheme, gateway and the community employment scheme. These schemes are administered locally by local development companies, Local Authorities and local not-for-profit sponsor groups.
The primary obje...

90. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing the capacity of the employability service to accommodate an extra 1,000 persons. (Question 27496/15 asked on 07 Jul 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The EmployAbility service supports people with disabilities who wish to take up employment. The budget for 2015 provides €9.6 million to run the service. The average cost of providing support through the service is €2,900 per customer, so if the service was expanded to support an additional 1,000 customers, the estimated additional annual cost would be €2.9 million.
 ...

2. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she has read the document, A Fair Recovery for Jobseekers with Disabilities: Sinn Féin Proposals for Immediate Action from the Department of Social Protection; her plans to take positive action on the document’s recommendations to open mainstream jobseeker supports to persons with disabilities on a voluntary basis, increase the capacity and promotion of specialist employment supports and introduce a new facility to voluntarily suspend claims but have them re-instated promptly should the person become unable to work. (Question 24848/15 asked on 24 Jun 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: In the context of the upcoming comprehensive strategy for people with disabilities and the slowness of the system in implementing change, I produced a document which makes a number of proposals on assisting jobseekers with disabilities. I ask the Tánaiste whether she has read the document and whether she will implement the positive, self-financing and simple recommendations which would change the lives of many of those who are unemployed and have disabilities.
 ...

54. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the reason a request by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 to do a Safe Pass course was denied until the person finds employment, when in fact the person had to turn down employment due to not having a Safe Pass certificate; and if this decision will be reviewed. (Question 18745/15 asked on 13 May 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The person concerned made enquires at Bishop’s Square Intreo Centre regarding attending a Safe Pass Course. He was advised that under the operational guidelines for the Training Support Grant which funds Safe Pass Courses, in order to qualify, an applicant must have a job offer or the potential of a job offer. Until such time as the person concerned can provide evidence of a job offer or a potential job offer this matter cannot be...

2. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her plans to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind by the State in any economic recovery and the new job activation measures that will be put in place to enable those who want to work to find work. (Question 17374/15 asked on 06 May 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: One of the most marginalised groups in Irish society comprises those with disabilities who were left behind during the peak years. What measures are being taken to ensure these people are not left behind in any employment and job activation measures and in any future recovery.
 ...

47. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 53 of 21 April 2015, the rate of compliance of the EmployAbility service with the named monthly performance indicators. (Question 16941/15 asked on 29 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): In relation to performance indicators for the EmployAbility service set out in my previous reply, at a national level, at end-December 2014, the service had a ratio of one job coach to 26 clients. Of the 3,000 clients availing of the service, some 42 per cent had been placed in employment and were being supported by job coaches. It should be noted that the percentage figure for participants still in employment when the 18 month pe...

247. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of persons supported into sustainable jobs by the employability service and its precursor the supported employment programme each year for the past five years. (Question 15361/15 asked on 21 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247, 266 to 269, inclusive, together.
The Government recognises the importance of increasing participation in employment for persons with a disability. To this end, the Department provides a wide range of income and work related supports for people with disabilities, which play an important role in supporting increased participation in the labour force by people with disabilities. 
Among these sup...

249. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her views on the fit for work Ireland initiative; her Department’s response to the initiative; the steps taken to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15363/15 asked on 21 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I welcome the approach being proposed under the “Fit for Work” initiative. Early interventions and developing return to work practices in the case of people with musculoskeletal incapacities is consistent with the Department’s own policy approach to illness/disability income support which aims to reduce the number of people progressing to chronic disability and long-term social welfare dependency.
I should mention that the “Renai...

266. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the total funding committed by her Department to the individual placement and support model being piloted by Mental Health Reform; the timeframe for same; her views on what this funding covers; what is covered by others; and the total capacity of the pilot in terms of the numbers of persons with mental health difficulties that it expects to support; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15456/15 asked on 21 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247, 266 to 269, inclusive, together.
The Government recognises the importance of increasing participation in employment for persons with a disability. To this end, the Department provides a wide range of income and work related supports for people with disabilities, which play an important role in supporting increased participation in the labour force by people with disabilities. 
Among these sup...

267. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost of removing the 18-month time-limit on support from the employability service; her views on the matter including the average length of time that persons remain engaged with the service; and the number and percentage who remain engaged for the full 18 months. (Question 15457/15 asked on 21 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247, 266 to 269, inclusive, together.
The Government recognises the importance of increasing participation in employment for persons with a disability. To this end, the Department provides a wide range of income and work related supports for people with disabilities, which play an important role in supporting increased participation in the labour force by people with disabilities. 
Among these sup...

268. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost of expanding the capacity of the employability service to support 1,000 additional persons; if she will provide a breakdown of the spending this would involve, for example, job coaches, administration and so on. (Question 15458/15 asked on 21 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247, 266 to 269, inclusive, together.
The Government recognises the importance of increasing participation in employment for persons with a disability. To this end, the Department provides a wide range of income and work related supports for people with disabilities, which play an important role in supporting increased participation in the labour force by people with disabilities. 
Among these sup...

269. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the average number of persons with a mental health condition availing of the employability service at any one time. (Question 15459/15 asked on 21 Apr 2015 - Employment Support Services)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247, 266 to 269, inclusive, together.
The Government recognises the importance of increasing participation in employment for persons with a disability. To this end, the Department provides a wide range of income and work related supports for people with disabilities, which play an important role in supporting increased participation in the labour force by people with disabilities. 
Among these sup...

173. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will change the rules of the Tús scheme so that persons apply to participate; and if she will provide for accredited education and training of appropriate duration while on the scheme. (Question 45131/14 asked on 25 Nov 2014 - Employment Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): Tús, the community work placement initiative introduced during 2011, provides short-term, quality work opportunities for those who are unemployed for more than a year. Some 7,865 are currently engaged on Tús as of 20th November 2014.
A key feature of Tús is that all selection is undertaken by random processes conducted at local level by the Department. The selection is focused on those on the Live Register for a ...

124. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide an update on the JobPath tender process; her views on whether the privatisation of social protection services proposed gives rise to a danger of supports focusing on those amongst the long-term unemployed that are easiest to place at the expense of those with more intensive support needs also known as parking and creaming which has been the experience in Britain where a similar model to JobPath has already been unsuccessfully tested; and if she will consider halting the tender process even at this late stage in view of objections (Question 24121/14 asked on 10 Jun 2014 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): JobPath is a new programme of employment activation aimed specifically at the long-term unemployed and those most distant from the labour market with the primary objective of assisting such persons to gain sustainable employment. The Department is currently in the process of evaluating tenders for the provision of the service.The allocation of additional resources to the activation of long term unemployed people was the focus of an updated “P...

42. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on extending some of the job search and training activation supports to categories of the unemployed who do not currently qualify for any assistance in their own right but who are searching for work and would like support around same, for example persons who are formerly self-employed and others who do not qualify for any payment due to their partners’ income and persons who are deemed qualified adults on their partners’ payment. (Question 10343/14 asked on 05 Mar 2014 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Any person of working age who does not qualify for jobseeker’s benefit may claim means tested jobseeker’s allowance. Subject to means and other qualifying conditions, self-employed persons may claim jobseeker’s allowance if their business ceases or there is reduced demand for their services. Typically over 80% of jobseeker’s allowance claims from self-employed persons have been awarded over recent years. People who were previously self-empl...

380. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if Intreo offices may make referrals to local employment services. (Question 3828/14 asked on 28 Jan 2014 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 to 382, inclusive, together.
Intreo is a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. Intreo offices provide a more streamlined approach with tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers and employers alike. Intreo offices currently refer jobseekers to Local Employment Services (LES) and will continue to do so when JobPath becomes operational. 
Under the National Employmen...

381. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if the number of NEAP referrals by her Department to local employment services will be affected by the establishment of JobPath; the ongoing and future role of LESs in terms of categories and numbers of persons referred to them. (Question 3829/14 asked on 28 Jan 2014 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 to 382, inclusive, together.
Intreo is a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. Intreo offices provide a more streamlined approach with tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers and employers alike. Intreo offices currently refer jobseekers to Local Employment Services (LES) and will continue to do so when JobPath becomes operational. 
Under the National Employmen...

382. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if funding from her Department to local employment services will not be reduced upon the establishment of JobPath. (Question 3830/14 asked on 28 Jan 2014 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 to 382, inclusive, together.
Intreo is a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. Intreo offices provide a more streamlined approach with tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers and employers alike. Intreo offices currently refer jobseekers to Local Employment Services (LES) and will continue to do so when JobPath becomes operational. 
Under the National Employmen...

370. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if time spent on JobBridge goes towards the calculation of a person qualifying for JobsPlus. (Question 49574/13 asked on 19 Nov 2013 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): JobsPlus is a new employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This incentive replaced the employer Job PRSI Exemption Scheme and the Revenue Job Assist from the 1 July 2013. Regular cash payments are made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs when they engage eligible jobseekers.
Eligible employees must have been in receipt of a jobseekers’ payment or signing...