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Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 167. Ms O. Mitchell Information on Olivia Mitchell Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  the plans in place to ensure the protection of community employment scheme jobs for the disabled; the plans in place to protect community employment schemes which support disability services; if it is intended to mainstream any of these health related schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22871/02]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Fahey): Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey In accordance with the Government's decision in 1999 to restructure community employment, CE, participation levels are gradually being reduced, reflecting the significant reduction in the numbers of the long-term unemployed and the shift in emphasis away from work experience programmes to training, from which there is a greater level of progression to employment.

FÁS prioritises projects according to the types of services provided and levels of unemployment in the locality and co-ordinates reductions so as to minimise any negative effects on groups and services most in need of CE. Drugs task force activity and child care service provision are ring-fenced and projects in RAPID areas are given top priority. CE places in the health sector are being maintained at the start of the year level to ensure continuity of the delivery of these services.

The Department of Health and Children in conjunction with the health boards executive, or HeBE, are currently examining the position regarding the mainstreaming of health related services and a decision on mainstreaming will be made in the near future.

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