JobPath undermining some jobseekers in their careers – Reilly
Sinn Féin Senator and Spokesperson for Young People Kathryn Reilly has criticised the JobPath system for preventing participants from accessing other job activation measures, saying this exposed the gaping holes on the Government’s job activation measures.
Senator Reilly said:
“Persons placed on the JobPath programme are prohibited and excluded from taking part in other job activation schemes such as community employment schemes, part-time job incentive schemes, jobs clubs and local employment services and from participating in all other forms of training other than that supplied by private companies such as Seetac and Turas Nua
“The Government's ongoing rhetoric about getting people back to work is being contradicted in part by the JobPath scheme. What I am hearing back on the ground is that some people have been waiting for places in other job activation schemes such as community employment schemes, part-time job incentive schemes, jobs clubs and local employment services are now being told they cannot take these up. Essentially, if they are placed on JobPath in the meantime, they will be foregoing such opportunities.
“There are cases where people wish to access a scheme that will give them access to training, childcare and career progression but when this type of community employment scheme is available while they are on JobPath, they are unable to take it up.
“The experience to date is that people referred to JobPath cannot access a community employment scheme and, even if it is to their liking or part of a beneficial career path for them, they are being discouraged by JobPath officials. This week I had one woman into my office who, having been out of the labour market for so long, used her own initiative to get offered a CE scheme with training and childcare, who was subsequently told she could not take this up and must remain with JobPath. So, rather than immediately take up a position with training and other associated benefits, she must now stay on the JobPath service until her mandatory period ends in October.
“There are gaping holes in this Government's job activation measures. The rhetoric of getting people back to work is empty if people are being forced to turn down opportunities just so private operators, who are paid on the basis of outcomes, can get their returns.”