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Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 317.  Deputy Eric Byrne Information on Eric J. Byrne Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if she outline the terms applying to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 and community employment workers in general as to the duration of their entitlements to BCE; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that there seems to be perpetual confusion among FÁS advisers and CE supervisors as to the eligibility for continuing CE workers on the schemes for more than two years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16627/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Community Employment participants may be eligible, but not entitled, to extensions in their participation under the following criteria:

Part-time Integration Option

[832]Participation on the Part-time Integration Option is for 1 year. In certain limited circumstances a second year may be available, subject to the approval of the Department and the availability of places and budget.

Part-time Job Option

Participation on the Part-time Job Option is for 1 year initially with annually renewable contracts for a further 2 years, subject to annual departmental approval and the availability of places and budget. Persons under 55 years of age, who meet the qualifying conditions, may be eligible for a maximum of 3 years overall participation on Community Employment (CE). Persons of 55 or over, who meet the qualifying conditions, may be eligible to a maximum of 6 years overall participation on CE. Persons in receipt of any of the 4 disability-linked social welfare payments may be eligible for 1 additional year’s participation. Only time spent on CE since the 3rd April 2000 counts towards these participation limits. Each CE participant on completion of a 52 week period is considered, on an individual basis, for an extension for a further period of time. Their record of training and “job-readiness” is considered by both the employer (CE sponsor) and the Department in arriving at a decision to extend participation.

The person concerned commenced on the Athru Education and Training CE programme on the 22nd February 2010 and completed a second consecutive year on the 19th February 2012. Request for a third year was to engage in a reception post which is not an agreed position on the CE programme. It was considered that the person concerned was ready to progress to employment or mainstream training.

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