Committee told JobPath is threatening referrals to existing job schemes – John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has said that evidence brought before the Committee on Employment Affairs & Social Protection raises serious concerns for the future of a number of community schemes.
The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) who delivers schemes including Community Employment, Tús, Local Employment Service and the Rural Social Scheme on behalf of the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection came before the Committee this morning.
Speaking following the Committee meeting, Teachta Brady said:
“Today we heard further evidence as to the serious impact JobPath is having on existing job activation schemes.
"It is not lost on anyone that while community schemes such as those delivered by the ILDN are struggling to fill their places, referrals to JobPath have been soaring.
“As of December 2017, 141,000 people had been referred to the privatised JobPath scheme while at the same time referrals are down dramatically across the board for the Local Employment Service.
“Community Employment vacancies throughout the State are high, plans are place to reduce participation in Tús by 2,000 participants and the Local Employment Service is struggling to fulfill contracts as they are not being given an adequate number of referrals.
“In Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown, for example the ILDN stated that from 2015, when JobPath was established, Tús referrals dropped from 722 to 261.
"Another ILDN member stated that in his own area last year, Local Employment Service were contracted for 20,050 referrals but only received 15,900, a 20% failure in referrals.
“The Committee were also told that no existing schemes were consulted as to whether or not they could be scaled up in order to deal with the increases in unemployment during the economic downturn.
"At no stage was it considered that existing schemes could be assisted through additional resources to deal with increased unemployment instead of moving to privatise job activation through JobPath.
“JobPath is threatening the very existence of numerous community schemes which have served jobseekers successfully for many years.
"It is time for Minister Doherty to face up to this reality if we are to ensure that no scheme is forced out due to a lack of referrals from her Department.”