Wednesday, 8 July 1992
Dáil Éireann Debate
230. Mr. Ryan asked the Minister for Labour if he will outline the numbers who have availed of the recently introduced employment subsidy and job training scheme; and if, in view of the fact that the take up under both schemes is extremely poor, he will agree to hold urgent meetings with the social partners with a view to rectifying the design faults and relaunch both schemes.
Minister for Labour (Mr. Cowen): Applications for the recruitment of about 5,000 persons under the employment subsidy scheme (ESS) and 280 under the job training scheme (JTS) have been received by FÁS so far. Actual placements to date are 1,483 and 19 respectively.
I am disappointed at the level of take-up to date on both schemes. Recruitment on the employment subsidy has picked up and is now running well in excess of 100 per week. As regards the job training scheme, I always accepted that the scheme would be slow getting off the  ground. I am concerned to have a quality training scheme on employers' premises. Training programmes have to be designed, agreed and monitored.
The Taoiseach and I recently met with representatives of the social partners to discuss the low take-up on the schemes. At that meeting, the Taoiseach urged employer representatives to encourage their members to take advantage of the schemes and arranged that FAS and employer and ICTU representatives should meet to see how participation in the schemes might be increased. This meeting is due to take place this week. Depending on the outcome of the meeting, in the light of these discussions, I will consider what further action is to be taken.
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