I welcome the major reforms to the Community Employment (CE) and Rural Social Schemes (RSS) after a long campaign which I initiated on behalf of participants in the schemes and Community groups.
The main changes announced by Minister Heather Humphries include the following:

• Participants over 60 can now remain on CE & RSS until retirement
• New flexibility to allow CE Schemes retain current Participants until replacements are found
• Referrals to CE & RSS to be significantly ramped up in 2022
• Changes will reduce vacancies & protect vital local services in communities
I have raised the issue numerous times in the Dail and I met with the Minister and officials to ensure that reforms were introduced to ensure that the schemes remained effective and continued to bring benefit to communities, The reforms will also bring certainty to participants and I particularly welcome the fact that those over 60 years can remain on the schemes until they retire.