Minister Doherty Emphasises Significant Contribution of Job Path initiative

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Minister Doherty Emphasises Significant Contribution of Job Path initiative

41,000 have found full time jobs while engaged with the service

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD today emphasised that 41,000 individuals have found full time jobs while engaged with the JobPath service - with a further 5,000 finding part time jobs - and that the initiative has contributed to the significant progress made by the Government in reducing unemployment from a peak of 16% in 2012 to 5.3% in December 2018.
By the end of January 2019, over 206,000 long-term unemployed people have been referred to the Job Path service since its introduction and the employment outcomes for people engaging with the JobPath service are ahead of target, at 25% against a target of 14%.

Minister Doherty also pointed out that the use of contracted service providers such as Local Employment Services, Job Club providers and JobPath service providers alongside its own Intreo service has enabled the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to reduce the ratio of jobseekers to case officers from over 2,000:1 to international best practice ratios (120:1) – enabling a more effective and tailored response to the needs of individuals. 
Minister Doherty added:

“The JobPath service providers are focussed on delivering an intensive activation service tailored to the needs of long-term unemployed jobseekers and have been central in enabling my Department to move from a role of passive income provider of social welfare supports for working age people to become an organisation that is focused on helping and supporting unemployed people find work.”
Responding to this evening’s Sinn Fein Private Members Bill, calling for the immediate cancellation of JobPath, Minister Doherty said:

The immediate cancellation or suspension of the service would result in a significant decrease in case officer services to unemployed jobseekers, the loss of up to 600 jobs among JobPath staff and, in the absence of due cause warranting such a cancellation prior to 2021, could create a significant financial exposure for the State. Most of all, a service which has contributed significantly to date would now be denied to those long-term unemployed who seek to find work. As the most decisive factor in individuals improving their economic circumstances and being lifted out of poverty, is to secure employment, this motion would seek to deny that opportunity to thousands and condemn them to continued dependency on welfare.”

The Minister stated that she was committed to continuing to deliver activation services to the long term unemployed and to explore how best to develop future supports and services through the current available resources such as Intreo, Local Employment Services and the continued use of contracted providers.


Note for Editor

The State’s Public Employment Service is managed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and delivered directly by its own Intreo service as well as by contracted companies, such as JobPath, Local Employment Service and Job Club providers. The Department has contracts in place with in excess of 60 companies for the provision of these services. This includes two contracts with JobPath service providers, Turas Nua and Seetec.      
JobPath provides activation services specifically tailored to the needs of long term unemployed people. JobPath is a contract model whereby the providers are paid by results - with the results being measured in terms of sustained employment outcomes for jobseekers. Outcome/sustainment payments are made in respect of employment of a minimum of 30 hours per week sustained for a minimum period of 13 weeks. Up to four outcome payments in respect of each employment outcome can be made covering a period of 12 months. The first referrals to JobPath service providers commenced in 2015 and the contract term runs until 2021 (the last referrals to the JobPath service are to be made at the end of 2019).   
The purpose of JobPath is to complement and augment the existing activation service capacity of the Department, including the Local Employment Services. There has been no reduction in the budget allocated to the Local Employment Services on foot of the introduction of the JobPath service.      
As part of their contract terms JobPath providers are required to offer a minimum service guarantee to jobseekers covering matters such as the allocation of a dedicated case officer, frequency of engagement with case-officers, access to training in CV, interview and other skills, a transparent complaints process, funding for out-of-pocket job search expenses and post-employment support for a period of at least 3 months and up to 12 months following commencement of employment.
A full econometric evaluation of the service in conjunction with the OECD is underway and the first reports from the review are expected shortly.

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Last modified:05/02/2019