Minister Burton officially opens new premises for Kilkenny Job Club

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The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today (Friday, 10th May, 2013) officially opened the Kilkenny Job Club's new premises located at Friary Street. The Job Club is a practical and participative service that supports jobseekers in pursuing job opportunities. Every year, the Department of Social Protection places contracts for the provision of Job Clubs with over 40 companies throughout the country. It has provided total funding of €6 million for this year, of which €143,700 has been provided to the Kilkenny Job Club.

Addressing those attending the official opening today, Minister Burton said: "Kilkenny Job Club and the other Job Clubs around the country have a crucial role to play in getting people back to work. The funding provided by my Department for Job Clubs is just one of the many ways in which we are tackling the unemployment crisis."

The Minister thanked the staff for their work in preparing jobseekers for the Hospitality Fair that was held earlier this year. Some 130 jobseekers were referred by the Department to the Kilkenny Job Club in advance of the event, and these jobseekers were provided with support through workshops and individual talks designed to build confidence and skills. Some 25 jobseekers were placed in employment as a result.

Minister Burton also thanked the Job Club for the supports they provide to local employers. "This is the other key element to the service and by actively engaging with employers to identify potential job opportunities and supporting jobseekers in accessing such vacancies, the staff of the centre are creating and facilitating the best possible connections between jobseekers and employers. I wish you continued success in your work."

While in Kilkenny, the Minister also met with the staff of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) at their offices in William Street. Kilkenny MABS covers Kilkenny city and county, which has a population of over 95,000.

The MABS service in Kilkenny is now seeing between 40 and 45 new clients come through its doors every month. In 2012, 470 new clients contacted the MABS service in addition to its 690 existing clients.

Minister Burton acknowledged the work that the MABS service is providing in Kilkenny and throughout the country at the present time.

"High levels of personal debt are a source of huge stress for many families and individuals. MABS is a very important source of assistance for those struggling with debt or worrying about falling into debt. It provides a free, confidential and independent service, and has a long history of helping people overcome debt difficulties."

The Minister also mentioned the Mortgage Arrears Information and Advice Service put in place by the Government to help people understand their options if they are in mortgage arrears or think they are at risk of going into arrears on their home. The Mortgage Arrears Information and Advice Service has three strands:

  • the website is the key online access portal for comprehensive mortgage arrears information
  • the Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline provides general mortgage arrears information and other supports and services available. The Helpline operates Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm at 0761 74050
  • the availability of independent advice for mortgage holders at the point where a lender presents them with a long-term proposal to restructure the mortgage on their home. A mortgage holder can select an accountant from a panel made up of members of accountancy bodies and the lender will pay for the service. Details of participating accountants are available on the website


Note for Editors:

The Job Club service aims to:

  • Enable job-ready1 jobseekers to obtain employment in the open labour market
  • Facilitate the exploration and follow-up of employment opportunities
  • Assist in the integration of jobseekers into employment
  • Meet the labour market requirements of employers

The Job Club provides:

  • A support service to jobseekers: assistance with job applications and liaison with employers on behalf of jobseekers.
  • Employment-focused workshops.
  • Practical individual support on a 'one to one' basis.
  • A drop-in jobseeking service with access to facilities and resources, e.g. internet, computers, phone, business directories, Jobs Ireland vacancies and other relevant data sources.
  • Follow-up support to jobseekers as necessary after placement to maximise job retention.
  • A database of local employers and active engagement with them in relation to the identification of potential job opportunities and supporting jobseekers in accessing such vacancies.

Jobseekers are referred to Job Clubs by the Department's own employment services and the Local Employment Service (LES). In addition, many clients avail of the service on a "walk-in" basis. Participants on Job Club formal workshops receive a €20 weekly allowance while undertaking the workshop – which normally lasts at least one week.

1 Job Ready is defined as "a person who has the necessary training, education, motivation to pursue work in the open labour market"

Last modified:10/05/2013