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Written Answers - Community Employment Schemes

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 269.  Deputy Martin Ferris Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if her attention had been drawn to the fact a recent survey of 1,421 former community employment scheme participants found that 54% had found employment or moved into further education; and if she agrees that this supports the maintenance of the programme. [24041/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The FÁS Planning and Research Department, approximately every two years, commissions independent consultants to undertake a follow-up survey of a representative sample of those who left FÁS employment and training programmes 13-18 months previously. The purpose of these independent surveys is to provide FÁS with information on the relative effectiveness of its programmes in terms of the labour market impact on the (former) participants. Such intelligence is vital for FÁS in order to continue to enhance the effectiveness of the services it provides to the unemployed.

The most recent survey was carried out at the end of last year of a representative sample of former participants who left FÁS programmes over the period June to September 2010. The survey will be placed on the FÁS web-site and available to the public within the next few days.

With regard to the Community Employment programme specifically; the following was the labour market position of former participants at the time of the survey (i.e. 13-18 months after leaving the programme):

[400]Employed 13%.

In further education or training 41%.

Unemployed 38%.

On home-duties 7%.

As such, 54% of CE participants had positive outcomes in the sense that they were either employed or progressed to other training or employment programmes over a year after finishing the programme.

I have always supported the CE programme as it has achieved the objectives that it was set up for and benefits both communities and participants. Progression to employment and education/training continues to be the key performance objectives for the programme. Given the recent changes announced in Budget 2012 the issue of value for money and efficiencies have also to be added to the key objectives for this and all employment programmes. As my requested review of CE is nearing completion, I shall be further informed in making decisions in relation to the role of CE in the broader context of the Pathways to Work initiative by the results of the above survey.

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