Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.

Tuesday, 25 March 1997

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 476 No. 7

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  358.  Mr. Costello  Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello   asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   the number of people currently on community employment schemes; if he will give a breakdown on a gender basis; the number of single men and single women; the number of married men and married women; the number of lone parents, male and female; the number of men in a cohabiting situation claiming adult dependant allowance; the number of women in a cohabiting situation claiming adult dependant allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8460/97]

[1733][1734]

  359.  Mr. E. Byrne  Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne   asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   the number of community employment schemes in each of the years from 1993 to date in 1997; the proportion of participants in the schemes who had previously been unemployed for one year, two years and three years or more in each of these years; the proportion of participants falling into the categories of NRB participants, single people, married people without children, and married people with children in each of these years; and the proportion of participants who had previously attained junior certificate, leaving certificate or third level qualification in each of these years. [7931/97]

Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  I propose to take Questions Nos. 358 and 359 together.

The numbers of community employment (CE) schemes and the numbers of participants on those schemes for the years 1993 to 1997 are as follows:

1997(end February) 1996 1995 1994 1993
Number of CE Schemes 2,695 2,753 2,910 3,397 2,820
Number of participants 40,956 40,364 40,304 40,307 21,866

Significant progress has been made in achieving a better gender balance on CE. At the end of 1996, 43 per cent of participants were female compared with 36 per cent in 1995 and 20 per cent in early 1994. This increase is due to several factors, in particular the wider variety of work available under CE as well as increased numbers of lone parents participating in the schemes.

The duration of unemployment prior to joining a CE scheme in respect of those participating on CE schemes at present is as follows: under one year, 4 per cent; one to two years, 43 per cent; two to three years, 16 per cent; three years or over, 37 per cent. Prior to the introduction of the two CE options in 1996, the eligibility criteria for joining a CE scheme was 12 months or more on unemployment benefit or any period on unemployment assistance. Consequently, other than meeting these criteria, the duration of unemployment prior to joining a CE scheme was not collected.

Since the eligibility criteria for CE apply equally regardless of marital status or educational qualification, there has been no need or requirement to ask participants for this information and it is not therefore collected by FÁS. However, a profile of the dependency status of participants is available because the amount of payment that a participant receives on CE is determined by their Social Welfare dependency status before they commenced on CE. The following table shows the dependency status of CE participants for each of the years in question:

Dependency Status % Participants
1994 1995 1996
% % %
Without Dependants 49 47 42
Adult Dependant only 6 5 5
Child Dependants only 20 24 33
Adult and Child Dependants 25 24 21

While information regarding the educational qualification of participants is not collected by FÁS, the 1996 FÁS-ESRI follow-up survey on CE participants who completed CE in 1994 gives some insight into the matter. That survey indicated that 34 per cent of participants had only primary education while another 30 per cent had attained junior certificate level.

Unfortunately, it was not possible in the time available to get all the information requested and I will communicate with the Deputies in the matter.


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