Wednesday, 22 March 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
97. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the plans, if any, he has to increase the payment under the student summer jobs scheme in view of the fact it has remained at £500 for some years. [8358/00]
Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): The students summer jobs scheme will operate this year from 1 June to 30 September during which approved students will be allowed to undertake 2,000 hours work at £3 per hour, giving a possible total maximum payment of £600. The scheme will be advertised shortly in the national newspapers.
The primary objective of the scheme is to provide an income and work experience to less well off third level students who are unable to obtain employment during the summer months. Demand for the scheme has dropped off significantly over the past few years. This obviously reflects the wider availability of jobs especially in the tourism and services sectors and is a welcome trend.
I do not intend to increase the rate of pay under the scheme this year. An increase in the rate of pay might encourage highly employable students to leave the mainstream labour supply. It would be inadvisable to do this in a tightening labour market situation even for short periods.
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