T?naiste and Minister Hanafin announce details of the Work Placement Programme and the Short Time Working Training Programme


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The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms. Mary Coughlan, T.D., together with the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Ms. Mary Hanafin, T.D., today ( Wednesday 27 May 2009) announced details of the Work Placement Programme and a pilot Short Time Working Training Programme. Both of these activation programmes, which are aimed at assisting the unemployed and those on a reduced working week, were contained in last month’s Supplementary Budget.

Speaking at the launch the Tánaiste said, "With the increasing numbers of people who are unemployed this Government is continuing to develop and put in place new programmes that will enhance the work experience and training opportunities for these individuals. Today we are announcing the details of two such initiatives, the Work Placement Programme and a pilot Short Time Working Training Programme, both of which demonstrate our commitment in Government to assisting and activating the unemployed and those individuals who are on a reduced working week."

Minister Hanafin said "this is an exciting and innovative way of using social welfare payments to provide young people with the valuable experience needed to benefit fully from an economic upturn. These placements will encourage our graduates and young people to use their skills and to give them the hope and optimism which they need in these current difficult times. Traditionally social welfare payments for jobseekers were conditional on the recipient actively seeking work. These new schemes waive that requirement and see us move from welfare for unemployment to welfare to work."

The Work Placement Programme is a six-month work experience programme for an initial 2,000 individuals who are currently unemployed. Under this programme there will be two streams each consisting of an initial 1,000 places. The first stream is for graduates who before this year have attained a full award at level 7 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications and who have been receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance for the last six months.

The second stream will be open to all other individuals who have been receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance for the last six months. Under this stream 250 places are being ring fenced for those under 25 years of age.

Participants on both streams of the Work Placement Programme will continue to receive their existing social welfare entitlements from the Department of Social and Family Affairs for their duration on the programme.

The pilot Short Time Working Training Programme will provide two days training a week for 277 workers over a 52-week period. Under this scheme, workers who are on systematic short time working for 3-days a week and receiving social welfare payments for the two days they are not working will receive training for these two days. Participants on this programme will continue to receive their existing social welfare entitlements from the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

The Tánaiste stated, "From 2nd June FÁS local offices will be taking applications from people who are interested in either the Work Placement Programme or the Short Time WorkingTraining Programme with a view to placing them or commencing their training within a period of weeks."

The Tánaiste continued, "Both of these programmes build upon the recent Government responses to the rising numbers of unemployed in the country. I have almost doubled the capacity of the job search services within FÁS from 6,500 to 12,250 persons per month, bringing the total number of places for referrals by the Department of Social and Family Affairs to 150,000 per year." "Through significant redeployment of resources, the number of activation, training and work experience places available through FÁS is 128,000, which is almost double the 66,000 places available at the end of last year. The majority of these additional places are being provided under FÁS Training Initiatives Strategy and are short courses."

Concluding, the Tánaiste and Minister Hanafin said that the programmes, together with those already in place demonstrate a substantive commitment on the part of the Government to create and implement initiatives that support and assist those finding themselves without work, and that the Government was committed to developing these and other schemes that help address our current unemployment problem.

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

Note for Editors:

The details of the new activation programmes are as follows:

WORK PLACEMENT PROGRAMME

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR STREAM 1:
GRADUATES (1,000 PLACES, SIX-MONTH DURATION)

  • Graduates must have graduated before 2009.
  • Graduates must have attained a full award at level 7 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications.
  • Graduates must be on the Live Register for a period of at least 6 months and in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance, from the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
  • The placement will be for a six-month period.
  • FÁS will administer the Programme.
  • Local FÁS offices will be the first point of contact for those interested in the Programme.
  • FÁS will allocate a number of places to each FÁS Region having regard to the size of the Live Register in that Region. Each Region will then allocate places on 'first in first served' basis within their own allocation.
  • FÁS will refer all potential participants to providers.
  • On referral from FÁS, the provider of the work experience may interview potential participants.
  • DSFA will continue to pay social welfare entitlements to participants on the Programme.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR STREAM 2:
(1,000 PLACES, SIX-MONTH DURATION)

  • Participants must be on the Live Register for a period of at least 6 months and in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance, from the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
  • This stream will be open to all individuals who do not possess a full award at level 7 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications.
  • 250 places will be ring-fenced for under 25's.
  • The placement will be for a six-month period.
  • FÁS will administer the Programme.
  • FÁS will allocate a number of places to each FÁS Region having regard to the size of the Live Register in that Region. Each Region will then allocate places on 'first in first served' basis within their own allocation
  • Local FÁS offices will be the first point of contact for those interested in the Programme.
  • FÁS will refer all potential participants to providers.
  • On referral from FÁS, the provider of the work experience may interview potential participants.
  • DSFA will continue to pay social welfare entitlements to participants on the Programme.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTION:

PROVIDERS

  • The Programme will be open to both public and private sector employers.
  • The maximum number of placements with a single provider shall be 10 or 10% of their workforce whichever is the smaller.
  • The placement will be for a six-month period.
  • Prospective providers shall register with FÁS.
  • On referral from FÁS, the provider of the work experience may interview potential participants.
  • The placement will not be provided to fill an existing vacancy
  • The placement will not be provided to displace an existing employee

MONITORING:

  • FÁS will design and implement a monitoring system.
  • A Review Group will be established to review the Programme.

SHORT TIME WORKING TRAINING PROGRAMME

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
277 PLACES OVER A 52-WEEK PERIOD

  • There will be 277 places available.
  • Each placement will be for a period of 52 weeks.
  • FÁS will administer the Programme.
  • FÁS will offer flexible learning to individuals to enable them complete courses should they go back full time.
  • Local FÁS offices will be the first point of contact for those interested in the Programme.
  • FÁS will be the initial provider of training.
  • The Programme will be limited to people currently on systematic short time and in receipt of social welfare payments.
  • DSFA will continue to pay participants social welfare entitlements whilst receiving training whilst on systematic short time working.
Last modified:27/05/2009
 

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