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JobPath scheme ‘simply putting money in the pockets of private companies’ – Mitchell

25 October, 2017 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin TD Denise Mitchell has described the Government’s JobPath job activation scheme as ‘just a money spinner for private companies’.

Speaking alongside her colleague John Brady TD at the launch of a report into the scheme, Deputy Mitchell said:

“The treatment of unemployed people on these schemes has been nothing short of disgraceful. What we are seeing is the privatisation of our welfare system. This has led to a situation where private companies have little interest in ensuring a jobseeker is placed in appropriate employment. Instead their primary concern is around collecting the initial ‘registration fee’ paid to them from the Department of Social Protection for signing-up jobseekers, and then shoving them into whatever jobs become available as quickly as possible, regardless of the candidates skill set, in order to receive the subsequent ‘job sustainment fees’.

“We have also seen incidents where part-time and substitute teachers have been forced into low-skilled jobs simply because they are not in full-employment. These workers have been threatened with benefit cuts if they did not take up a full-time role which one of the private companies delivering the scheme had secured for them.

“There are other major issues raised in the report concerning data protection and the impact that these schemes are having on the Community Employment sector. What I will say is that the interests of jobseekers are not being put to the forefront by the companies delivering the scheme. They seem to see it as just putting money in the pockets of private companies.” 

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