Minister of State Kevin Humphreys opens new Intreo Centre on Cork Street, Dublin 8


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Minister of State Kevin Humphreys opens new
Intreo Centre on Cork Street, Dublin 8

Kevin Humphreys, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection with special responsibility for Employment, Community and Social Support, today (Thursday 30 July 2015) officially opened the new Department of Social Protection Intreo Centre on Cork Street, Dublin 8.

This new Intreo Centre is an amalgamation of a number of social welfare and community welfare offices in Dublin 2, 4 and 8.  It is a one-stop shop where, for the first time, jobseekers living in these areas can access income and employment supports in one place. The new integrated reception is the first port of call for all customers to receive information on all services provided by the Department. In addition, Cork Street Intreo Centre oversees a range of other supports for jobseekers living in the area, including Tús, JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme as well as the Back to Education and Back to Work schemes.

Cork Street Intreo Centre has two new Public Service Card stations at which staff process up to 170 registrations per week.  Customers are invited to attend, by appointment, to register for their Public Service Card at this new office. The Public Services Card is designed to replace other cards within the public sector such as the Free Travel Pass.  It has key security features including a photograph and signature which minimise the potential for identity theft, forgery and fraudulent use.

The Public Services Card has been introduced to enable people gain access to public services more efficiently and with a minimum of duplication of effort, while at the same time preserving their privacy to the maximum extent possible.  It is also beneficial for the staff who are providing public services in terms of reduced administration and transaction times.

Speaking at the opening this morning Minister Humphreys said: “I’m delighted to be here today to open the newest Intreo Centre in Dublin. The staff in the Department, with the support of OPW, have provided a superb facility for the people of this region. The one-stop shop approach is working, and the feedback from customers is very positive.  This is one of the 97 centres nationally that are processing Public Services Cards, with over 1.5 million cards having issued to date. The Public Services Card will make it easier for customers to access public services, including Free Travel and collecting social welfare payments at Post Offices.”

The support now being provided through INTREO will be customised to each customer’s individual skills, experience and qualifications. A tailored progression plan is planned and agreed between the jobseeker and their Case Officer. This plan helps the jobseeker in deciding the training and development programmes they should pursue to maximise their access to job opportunities.

Minister Humphreys continued, “The Intreo Centres are a key element to the Government’s Pathways to Work strategy, and represents a transformative approach to tackle unemployment. Overall unemployment has fallen from a peak of 15.1% to 9.7%.  This is still too high.  However, I am confident that the services available from this office and our network of Intreo Centres throughout the country will play a crucial role in helping people back to work as we build on the recovery.”

The Minister concluded by expressing his thanks to the OPW for their assistance in developing the physical infrastructure in Cork Street Intreo Centre and to the staff in the Centre for the excellent service they are providing.

ENDS

 

Note for Editors

The Intreo process consists of five main elements:

An integrated 'one-stop-shop' reception service: This replaces the three previously separate services from FÁS, the Department of Social Protection and the Community Welfare Service (HSE). In practice, this means that the customer receives complete information on a more timely basis in one location, and that all follow-on appointments can be scheduled at the same time.

A single decisions process: Previously, customers submitting claims for social welfare payments might have had to wait some time for their claim to be awarded as details of their employment status and income were assessed. While awaiting this payment, customers were entitled, by submitting a separate claim to the Community Welfare Service, to an emergency Supplementary Welfare Allowance payment.  The new Intreo process significantly reduces the time taken to decide a claim and those customers who might still require a supplementary payment can have this decision made as part of the single process rather than having to submit a separate claim.  As part of the decisions process, a personal profile (known as PEX) is captured for each individual and this profile informs the approach taken at the next stage in the process – activation.

An integrated activation/employment service process: Previously customers had to wait at least three months before an appointment could be made with an employment services officer, and in some cases this appointment had to be triggered by the client themselves.

Now, under the new process, all customers must attend a group engagement session – typically within a week or two of registering for jobseekers' payments. Depending on their personal profile, they are subsequently scheduled for follow-on one-to-one meetings with an experienced employment services officer.

The group engagement session is designed to give customers basic information on their entitlements and the services that are available to them in order to help them return to work. Each client is given a fact sheet in preparation for and in advance of the one-to-one meeting.

At the one-to-one meeting, the employment services officer/case worker will go into greater detail as to the employment and training supports available and help the client to prepare a Personal Progression Plan (PPP).

Follow-up meetings are then scheduled to monitor progress against the plan and to adjust it, as circumstances dictate. Customers may also be contacted in the periods between one-to-one meetings to check if the client is following the actions agreed under the PPP.

Ultimately customers who, despite the assistance of their case officer cannot make progress on the pathway into employment/further education, may be directed to, and required to, take up a place on a State employment or training scheme.

Social Contract – Rights and Responsibilities: This contract underpins the Intreo approach.

It is a record of the commitments being made by the Intreo service and also of the commitments expected of customers who avail of that service. In other words, a social contract to ensure that all parties understand that with rights to supports from the Department come responsibilities to engage with those services.  The commitments expected of customers are that they will:

  • Co-operate with the Intreo service in developing a Personal Progression Plan.
  • Use this plan to strive to secure employment.
  • Attend all meetings requested by the Department.
  • Provide all information requested by the Department.
  • Customers who register for the service will be expected to sign and honour this Record of Mutual Commitments.
  • Failure to honour this commitment can lead to a reduction in, and ultimately a cessation of, payments.

 

Employer Engagement: The Department already offers a suite of services that can assist employers in recruiting staff from the Live Register. These include: -

  • Job advertising and job-matching services (jobsireland.ie)
  • An internship scheme - JobBridge (JobBridge.ie)
  • Financial supports for recruiting long-term unemployed people – JobsPlus (JobsPlus.ie)
  • In-work supports to employees – Part-time Job Incentive scheme and Family Income Supplement
  • WorkAbility services, including wage subsidies and grants, for employing people with a disability.
Last modified:30/07/2015