Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
118. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will report on the operation of the Tús programme in the Northside Partnership area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13044/12]
Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Tús, the community work placement initiative introduced during 2011, will provide short-term, quality work opportunities for those who are unemployed for more than a year when fully operational. As of week ending, 2nd March 2012, 2,992 persons were on the payroll with 5,000 to be employed when Tús is fully operational. As of Monday, 5th March 2012, 50 participants and 3 supervisors have been engaged by Northside Partnership out of their assigned quota of 120 participants and 6 supervisors. While half of the local development companies engaged to deliver Tús have achieved full implementation, Northside Partnership based on progress to date, is unlikely to achieve full implementation until mid 2012.
Northside Partnership has identified a number of factors contributing to the delay in placing persons on Tús. These include the willingness of selected participants to co-operate, need for significant activation work with some participants due to the length of time away from a working environment, challenges with language competencies, imbalance in the gender of persons referred, difficulties of matching skills to available work placements and slowness by community and voluntary organisations to offer work placements in the company’s operational area.
Tús aims to improve the employability and work readiness of participants by providing them with the opportunities to put work skills into practice and learn new ones enabling progression to work, further education or skill development opportunities. In addition, Tús will boost the participants’ motivation and confidence, while simultaneously providing prospective employers with evidence that a participant has the necessary skills and abilities to do the job. A review of Tús will be initiated over the coming months to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the initiative. This review will allow for changes to be made to the initiative where these are considered necessary.
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