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Source: Sinn Féin

11 November, 2020 – by Claire Kerrane TD

 Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has said the decision to extend JobPath by a further 12 months, is an appalling use of public funds which will not provide jobseekers with the support they need or taxpayers with value for money.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“The two JobPath providers will be laughing all the way to the bank as Minister Humphreys has confirmed that JobPath will be extended again for a further 12 months.
“Referrals were due to cease at the end of 2019 but continued for a further 12 months. Now, we have learned that it is now being extended yet again. The Minister has confirmed that JobPath will go out to contract in late 2021 or in 2022.
“Jobseekers are now being referred to JobPath for a second, third and fourth time with over 280,000 people referred to date. Every time a person is referred the company is paid €311 just for the initial referral. They are getting that payment in some cases, for the same person four times. 
“For each individual who finds employment through JobPath which is sustained for one year, this costs the taxpayer €3,718.
“The Minister said today that her Department has to continue JobPath due to record unemployment levels and to ensure capacity. However, the Local Employment Service have shown they have the capacity for 100,000 jobseekers. This service includes wrap around services and most importantly, wellbeing and mental health supports, which are so important now. 
“We should be focusing on building up not-for-profit community-based schemes such as Community Employment and Tús. Instead, these schemes struggle to fill places while referrals to JobPath skyrocket. 
“I have asked the Minister to look at reducing the extortionate fees paid to these private companies when they are being extended again.
“Of the 280,000 people referred just 22,000 people have been sustained in work for 12 months. This clearly isn’t working and it is obvious that a different approach is needed. I am urging the Minister to reconsider this decision and re-direct resources to community-based job activation models.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom