394. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) signed up with Turas Nua cannot avail of funding to undertake a course that will help him or her to establish his or her own business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44808/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): People engaged with the JobPath service receive intensive individual support to help overcome barriers on their journey back to full time sustainable work. Each person is assigned a personal adviser who assesses their skills, experience, challenges and work goals and agrees a personal progress plan (PPP) that includes a schedule of activities, including relevant training and educational programmes. There are no barriers to any participants pursuing training, including further education and training courses, providing they are relevant to the agreed PPP. Any jobseeker with the JobPath service who wishes to start their own business is eligible to apply for a Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) and they will be advised by their personal advisor to contact their local Intreo centre where additional related support and advice is available from an Intreo Case Officer and the local development company if appropriate.

For people who do not qualify for the BTWEA, the JobPath companies may provide the relevant support and training either in house or with an external training provider.

The provision of funding for such courses is determined on a case-by-case basis by all the activation services including the JobPath providers. A customer may receive financial assistance for job-related training should they demonstrate that it will lead to sustainable employment. In the case of the customer concerned, the training identified was not critical to her application for the BTWEA or her business start-up and therefore the funding was not approved.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.