Question to the Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Mr. Kevin Humphreys, TD)
To ask the Minister for Social Protection her views on amending the Tús scheme so that participants have the option of continuing with their placement beyond the initial 12-month period; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
For Written Answer: Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Tús, the community work placement initiative introduced during 2011, was set up to provide short-term, work opportunities for those who are unemployed for more than a year. This initiative is being delivered through the network of local development companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tús is designed to break the cycle of unemployment and maintain work readiness thereby improving a person’s opportunity to return to the labour market. To date, over 23,000 jobseekers have participated on this initiative.
The duration of the Tús contract was set to reflect a number of inter-related elements. These include the need to ensure that the 8,000 or so placements available remain open to those on the live register for more than 12 month, which currently number in excess of 170,000; that weaknesses in other work programmes resulting from long duration placements are not replicated in Tús and that scare resources are optimised to the benefit of jobseekers. In addition, Tús fulfils the objectives set out in the Government’s activation policies in Pathways to Work. Regular rotation of placements also ensures that the opportunities provided by Tús remain accessible to a greater number of jobseekers.
As with all programmes and schemes funded and managed by the Department, the operation of Tús will be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure that it reflects changes in underlying activation policies and the recovery in the overall labour market.