Participants will be facilitated in exiting schemes on phased basis.
I welcome the announcement by the Department of Social Protection of further measures to support participants of Community Employment (CE) and Tús schemes.
‘Under the measures, CE and Tús participants’ contracts will be further extended until the end of October 2021.
“This will benefit 7,000 participants who have been granted contract extensions since last October and whose contracts were due to end in July”.
And the measure will benefit over 4,000 additional existing CE/ Tús participants whose contracts would ordinarily come to an end between July and October.
“The supports being announced today will ensure the schemes can fully re-commence service delivery in local communities, while also supporting participants who have been long-term unemployed”.
“Many participants’ time on the schemes has been adversely affected by public health restrictions and this latest extension will allow participants further opportunities to complete their training and work placement experience”.
Importantly, this final extension will also allow CE and Tús schemes to conclude participants’ placements on a co-ordinated and phased basis.
“This will also facilitate the planned increase in the rate of referrals to fill existing and new vacancies to ensure that opportunities to participate on the schemes continue to be available to those who are long term unemployed and furthest removed from the labour market”.
“From the end of October there will be a phased exit of those CE and Tús participants who have benefitted from this latest extension over a number of months up until February 2022”.
“To assist with this transitional arrangement, there will also be a short contract extension for those CE and Tús participants whose contracts would be normally due to end between November 2021 and February 2022”.
“The CE Schemes are now an integral part of every community across the country and we have come to rely on the schemes to ensure our community facilities and amenities are maintained. They also play a major role in the Tidy Towns initiatives each year”.
“I am calling on the Government to ensure that the schemes are supported to ensure that the 3,000 vacancies are filled as a matter of urgency and that participants over 55 years can be allowed to remain on the scheme if they so wish. This will allow for continuity of service and in the communities and provide a social outlet for people who have pride in all the work done in their community”.