Government's job activation measures ‘a nightmare’ – Brady
Speaking after Questions to the Minister for Social Protection in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection John Brady TD has called on the Minister to address the serious concerns people are facing within Turas Nua and Seetec, both responsible for delivering JobPath.
Deputy Brady said:
“For many of the 37,871 people currently on the Turas Nua and Seetec programmes nationally, it has been a nightmare. The issues being faced by people highlight the vast holes in the Government’s job activation measures.
“The Government's ongoing rhetoric about getting people back to work is being contradicted in part by the JobPath scheme.
“This week, I had a call to my office from a man who, having been out of the labour market for many years, used his own initiative to get offered a job as a Staff Artist through a CE scheme. On gaining this employment, he was subsequently told he could not take this up and must engage with JobPath. So, rather than immediately take up a position, he must now stay on the JobPath service until his mandatory period ends. The same man was told that if he did not comply and attend training with Turas Nua they would stop his payment.
“Another issue is the €120 charged for the Safe Pass course that Jobseekers are expected to pay and simply cannot afford. This is another barrier impacting on those who want to find employment.
“The Government’s faith in these companies is astounding when they clearly are not working for many people out there. If we look internationally, such as in Britain for example, these ‘payment by results’ companies have only placed around 4% of their long-term unemployed clients in secure employment.
“There are holes in the 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.”