Wednesday, 1 March 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
41. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the number of places approved for the student summer jobs scheme in 1999; the number of these places filled; and the amount paid to sponsors of the scheme in 1999. [6130/00]
147. Mr. Lawlor asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will raise the hourly rates of payment for participants on the summer jobs scheme for students to facilitate sponsors who are encountering difficulties in competing with the open jobs market and to enable those less well off students for whom the scheme is intended to earn more money to assist them with their education costs. [6374/00]
The students summer jobs scheme operated from 1 June to 31 August in 1999. A total of 15,833 students applied for inclusion in the scheme and 11,902 were approved for participation. Of these 9,200 worked. A total of £5.4 million was paid to sponsors.
The scheme was not designed to compete with jobs on offer in the open labour market. It is based primarily on community type work as distinct from commercial type activity. Its primary focus is to provide an income and work experience to less well off third level students who are unable to obtain work during the summer months.
In a tightening labour market situation it would not be advisable to take students out of the mainstream labour supply and primarily for this reason I do not intend to increase the rate of pay available under the scheme. The reduction in demand for the scheme over the past number of years reflects the wider availability of jobs, especially in the services and tourism sectors. From a labour supply perspective, this trend should be allowed to continue.
Demand for places under the scheme has been steadily declining over the past three years. Last year for example the number of applications was down 24% on 1988 while the number of students who took part in the scheme declined by 32% on the previous year.
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