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Written Answers. - Local Employment Service.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 145. Mr. Boyle Information on Dan Boyle Zoom on Dan Boyle  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  the support measures her Department offers for the development of economic opportunity for those within the Traveller community. [24395/02]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Fahey): Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey FÁS, the state agency with responsibility for training and employment services and which operates under the aegis of my Department, has accepted the recommendations of the task force on the travelling community and consequently Travellers are included on a range of FÁS programmes. In addition, there are a number of special initiatives, which have been developed in [1021] response to approaches from Traveller support groups locally.

Currently, there are community employment, CE, projects specifically dedicated to Travellers in Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Offaly, Meath, Louth, Dublin, Wicklow and Waterford. At the beginning of October 2002, between these and other projects, there were some 230 Travellers participating on CE and a further 105 Travellers in FÁS training, mainly in community training workshops. There were approximately 790 Travellers on the FÁS employment service caseload, and a further 110 on the local employment service caseload.

While Traveller representatives have already indicated to this Department that, for cultural reasons, Travellers prefer to be self employed, my Department has invited Traveller representative organisations to consider the various economic issues of interest, which fall within this Department's area of responsibilities. The outcome of this process may help clarify which issues can be addressed on a bilateral basis, and those which might benefit from wider considerations. The Department and agencies under its aegis will be fully supportive of the efforts of Travellers to adapt to, and participate in, the economy of a rapidly changing society.

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