43 Intreo Centres open nationwide by end January 2014

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One stop shops provide income support and employment service to jobseekers and help employers to recruit staff

43 Intreo Centres providing a one-stop shop for jobseekers where they can get their Department of Social Protection income supports and employment supports in the one place for the first time will be open by the end of January 2014. The new Intreo service offers practical, tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers.

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD said: "There are a number of new features in the Intreo service which were not a part of the old social welfare local office model. These include client profiling and early group engagement, regular one-to-one meetings with case officers which focus on employment supports and monitoring of the client's progress. The integrated decision-making process is leading to quicker decisions on applications for weekly payments and the recently launched Benefit of Work Ready Reckoner highlights the difference for jobseekers between potential income from work and the welfare payments they currently receive."

In the first eleven months of 2013, 122,300 people had attended group engagements, 148,500 people had attended initial one-to-one interviews and all jobseekers will have been profiled by the end of 2013.

Minister Burton continued: "Intreo Centres are not just for jobseekers, they are also for employers. We provide a range of supports for employers, such as JobsPlus, the wage subsidy scheme where the State pays approximately €1 in €4 of the typical cost of hiring someone who has been on the Live Register for 12 months or more. I would urge employers as well as jobseekers to see what their local Intreo office has to offer them."

There are now 43 Intreo Centres across the country and it is intended that the full Intreo service will be rolled out to all of the Department’s 63 offices nationwide by the end of 2014. A full list of the 43 Intreo Centres already opened or that will be live by the end of January is at Appendix 1.

The estimated project cost of redeveloping the activation/case management process, training staff, developing new IT and upgrading/refurbishing public offices is in the region of €40 million, some €20 million of which relates to office accommodation changes which would have been necessary even if Intreo was not being developed.

Minister Burton concluded: "The latest Central Statistics Office data shows an increase of 58,000 in the number of people at work over the last year and the Live Register continues to fall, so we are making slow and steady progress. But there remains a long way to go and that is why it is crucial we offer every practical support to jobseekers. That is why Intreo Centres are so important."


Appendix 1

Intreo Centres completed and opened; or due to be handed over by the OPW by the end of January 2014
Dulin Central
  1. Kings Inn
  2. Blanchardstown
  3. Navan Road
Dublin North
  1. Fingas
  2. Coolock
  3. Ballymun
  4. Kilbarrack
Dublin South
  1. Tallaght
  2. Ballyfermot
  3. Dunlaoghaire
  1. Arklow
  2. Bray
  3. Carlow
North East
  1. Cavan
  2. Dundalk
  3. Drogheda
North Midlands
  1. Longford
  2. Athlone
South Midlands
  1. Tullamore
  2. Kilkenny
  3. Clonmel
  1. Newcastlewest
  2. Limerick
  3. Ennis
South West
  1. Listowel
  2. Tralee
  3. Killarney
  4. Kenmare
  5. Cahirciveen
  1. Cobh
South East
  1. Waterford
  2. Wexford
North West
  1. Buncrana
  2. Dungloe
  3. Dunfanaghy
  4. Carrick-on-Shannon
  5. Manorhamilton
  6. Sligo
  1. Belmullet
  2. Achill
  3. Cliften
  4. Loughrea
  5. Ballina

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 client receives complete information on a more timely basis, in one location and all follow-on appointments can be scheduled at the same time.

A single decisions process

  • Previously, clients 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, clients were entitled, by submitting a separate claim to the Community Welfare Service, to an emergency Supplementary Welfare Allowance payment.
  • The new process significantly reduces the time taken to decide a claim (down to one day in most cases) and those clients 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 clients 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 clients 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 clients 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. Clients 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 clients, 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 clients 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 clients 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.
    • Clients 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 subsides and grants, for employing people with a disability.
Last modified:30/12/2013