Thursday, 4 June 1992
Dáil Éireann Debate
49. Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Labour if, in light of the extraordinary large voluntary sector which exists, arguably partially as a result of large numbers of unemployed people directing their energies in this manner, he will outline the plans, if any, he has to implement schemes by which this activity might be harnessed in an economically beneficial manner; and if he will provide a timetable for their implementation.
Minister for Labour (Mr. Cowen): In so far as my area of responsibility is concerned, voluntary groups are involved in a number of the social programmes operated by FÁS such as the social employment scheme, teamwork, and the community youth training programme. Voluntary local groups come forward with proposals for employment generating projects in their areas for which local funding is available. FÁS programmes provide financial assistance in respect of the trainees or participants and some assistance towards the cost of material and supervision.
Co-operation between local groups and FÁS takes two broad forms. Firstly opportunities are provided for unemployed people on projects which are of benefit to the local community in terms of improved amenities and facilities. Secondly, assistance is available under the community enterprise programme and the Co-op Unit of FÁS to assist local groups who are endeavouring to create sustainable employment in this area.
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