JobPath – New Employment Activation Programme
JobPath is a new programme of employment activation intended to assist jobseekers to secure and sustain full-time paid employment or self-employment. JobPath will provide support for people who are long-term unemployed as well as people who are newly unemployed but who are in particular need of intensive support to find work. JobPath will complement and augment the Department’s existing internal and contracted employment activation resources, thereby increasing the Department’s capacity to assist jobseekers to find work. JobPath will commence, on a phased basis, during the summer months of 2015 with the objective of being available nationwide by October/November.
The Department has contracted two companies, Turas Nua Ltd and Seetec Business Technology Company Ltd, to provide JobPath services. Turas Nua is a new business and is a joint venture between FRS Recruitment (a co-operative recruitment company based in Roscrea) and Working Links (a UK-based well-established company of employment services to long-term unemployed people). Seetec is a private company delivering a wide range of employability and skills programmes across both urban and rural areas of England. Both companies will work with a range of local subcontractors, including local training companies and specialist providers, in the delivery of JobPath.
JobPath Services for Jobseekers
Participants on JobPath will receive intensive individual support to help them address barriers to employment and to assist them in finding sustainable jobs. They will spend a year on the Programme and if they are placed into a job they may also be supported for the first year of employment. Participation on JobPath is mandatory. During their time on JobPath they may also be referred for further education and training opportunities. Jobseekers will retain their full social welfare payment while on JobPath. However, failure to engage with the Programme, without just cause, will affect a person’s welfare payment. All decisions about client welfare entitlements will be taken by Department officials.
JobPath Services for Employers
The JobPath companies will provide a free service for employers. They will offer employers dedicated recruitment, training and HR support. They will work with the Department and with each other to ensure that a co-ordinated approach is adopted regarding engagement with employers. In addition, in-work support for jobseekers will be provided, especially during the critical first few weeks, to ensure that people have the best chance of making the transition from unemployment to sustained employment.
Contracts will run for 4 years with an additional 2.5 years “run out” period. This means that where a person is referred to a company at the end of the fourth year, the company must provide the service for the next 52 weeks (plus up to 26 additional weeks if a person undertakes training or further education) and if the person gets a job at the end of that period the company may claim payments for up to 52 weeks of employment thereafter. JobPath contracts stipulate a significant number of requirements that both companies will have to meet. The contracts have an in-built “Service Guarantee” which means that each jobseeker will be guaranteed a baseline level of service. Companies will be subject to regular audits and inspections to ensure that they are complying with their contractual obligations.
JobPath Contract Areas
JobPath will be delivered in two contract areas that are based on the Department’s current divisional structure.
- Seetec - West; Midlands North; North East; North West, Dublin Central; Dublin North; Dublin South.
- Turas Nua – Cork Central; South East; Mid-Leinster, Mid-West; South West; Midlands South.
JobPath Fees Payable to Companies
The set-up costs of JobPath will be borne entirely by the companies. JobPath is a payment by results model. Companies will receive an initial client registration fee and thereafter will receive payments only when they successfully place people into jobs for sustained periods of 13, 26, 39 and 52 weeks (job sustainment fees). Fees are tiered so as to incentivise companies to provide a consistent level of service to all clients regardless of the nature of their barriers to employment, i.e. clients who are harder to place will attract a higher fee than those clients closer to the labour market. The details of individual fees are not being made public as these are commercially sensitive.
The overall cost of JobPath will be determined by the number of people who participate in the programme and the number who get sustainable jobs. The contracts provide for 260,000 - 440,000 jobseeker referrals over the duration of the programme. If the companies achieve their anticipated level of performance (getting people into sustained jobs) then JobPath is expected to cost between c. €200M and c. €340M over 6.5 years. However, the amounts saved on benefit (estimated to range from c. €310M to c. €525M) are expected to exceed the cost of JobPath.