Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Department of Social Protection funds the provision of work experience and work placements under a number of different programmes and through a number of different agencies. The work placement programme has provision for 7,000 work experience places and is delivered by FÁS. Community employment provides 22,300 places, the majority of which are considered to be work experience and is delivered by FÁS through community based project promoters. The new Tús — community work placement initiatives — has begun to roll-out nationally and will be delivered through the network of local development companies. This initiative will provided 5,000 work placements and work experience places over the coming months. The position remains unchanged with respect to the number of placements available in February and today. Under the newly announced jobs’ initiative, an additional 5,000 places will become available on a new internship programme from the 1st July.
For completeness, the number of places approved on the rural social scheme is 2,600 and an estimated 2,700 people are supported in employment under the community services programme. The FÁS Jobs Initiative programme, which is closed to new entrants provides full time employment support to 1,303 individuals who are over 35 years of age and have been unemployed for at least 5 years. While these latter measures do not provide work experience, they are important sources of income support and service supports funded by the Department.
341. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of the additional 15,000 places in work experience opportunities promised in the programme for Government that are currently on stream with a participant in place. [15286/11]
Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Programme for Government promised that an additional 15,000 places would be provided in training, education and work experience opportunities within the Government’s first 100 days of taking office. In last month’s Jobs Initiative the Government delivered an additional 20,900 training, education and work experience places. The Department is responsible for 5,000 of these additional places through the National Internship Scheme. As the scheme will not be launched until next month there are currently no participants in place.
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