John Brady slams Minister Varadkar's dismissive comments on Community Employment
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has criticised comments made by Minister Varadkar regarding the purpose of Community Employment schemes.
Responding to comments made by Minister Varadkar on RTÉ News at One Teachta Brady said:
"Minister Varadkar's idea of the purpose of Community Employment (CE) is not only incorrect, it is insulting.
"The Minister's comments will not be welcomed by those already participating in CE schemes working to benefit communities across the State.
“Minister Varadkar dismissed those engaged in CE schemes as people who could not hold down a job and give these people something to do.
"The work carried out by those in CE is invaluable in local communities and hugely beneficial to people living in these communities.
"The Minister's idea that this is work to keep these people busy in nonsense. In 2013 a CE Childcare Training and Development Programme was established for CE participants who wish to pursue a career in childcare.
“Those who complete this formal learning course and work experience qualify with a NFQ Level 5 qualification in childhood care and education.
"Other roles within CE give participants an opportunity to learn new skills and to gain experience.
"Minister Varadkar also mentioned that many of the roles undertaken by CE participants should be carried out by local authorities and perhaps, if his party did not starve local authorities of funding for years, they might have been able to continue this work.
"While, I welcome the lowering of the entry age to engage in CE, comments like these from the Minister hardly make the scheme appealing and he should keep these unhelpful comments to himself in future."