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Written Answers. - FÁS Training Programmes.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 161. Mr. O'Connor Information on Charlie O'Connor Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  the reason a widower is not entitled to qualify for the jobs initiative scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23262/02]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Fahey): Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey The job initiative programme, JI, is an active labour market programme for persons unemployed for five years or longer and over 35 years of age. The primary objective of JI is to assist very long-term unemployed persons to prepare for work opportunities available in the open labour market. Eligible participants include persons in receipt of unemployment benefit and unemployment assistance and their adult dependants and lone parents in receipt of the one parent family payment, OPFP. Accordingly, widowed persons with dependant children in receipt of OPFP may qualify for participation on JI. A review of JI was undertaken in 1999, which included consideration of programme eligibility criteria, and the consultants recommended no change to the existing criteria at that time.

FÁS is currently carrying out an internal review of the community employment and JI programmes which should be finalised early in the new year. This review will consider the future operation of these programmes in the provision of labour market services for the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged persons. In addition, the PPF mandated review of active labour market programmes is currently being progressed under the aegis of the standing committee on the labour market, chaired by my Department. The future policy direction of active labour market programmes such as JI will be further informed by the outcome of this process.

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