Minister of State Kevin Humphreys visits County Kerry


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Minister of State Kevin Humphreys visits Co. Kerry and meets with local employers as well as groups which provide supports to jobseekers in Kerry

The Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys, T.D. is in Tralee, Killorglin and Killarney today and tomorrow (10th and 11th November 2014) where he is meeting with a number of local groups and organisations which provide employment supports for jobseekers, with an employer who is using the Department's incentives to grow his business while giving work to jobseekers on the Live Register and with the Department's staff in Tralee and Killarney.

The groups which Minister Humphreys is meeting today include Friends of Able scheme, Tidy Tralee Together scheme, Tralee Chamber Alliance, Cumann Iosaef Community Employment scheme and Tralee Community Care Action Ltd. Tomorrow the Minister will be in Killorglin where he will hold meetings with South Kerry Development Partnership and Killorglin Family Resource Centre. Later in the afternoon he will meet with the Department of Social Protection staff working in the Department's Intreo Centre in Killarney and he will visit Killarney Jobs Club.

There are 49 Community Employment projects currently in operation with over 1,000 participants engaged in these schemes throughout County Kerry. The projects range from childcare, tourism, care of older people, to sport, environmental work and maintenance of community buildings. The Department of Social Protection has provided approximately €8.5 million for community employment projects in County Kerry this year. The Department of Social Protection's Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme is another successful initiative to support unemployed people into self-employment. There are currently some 375 social welfare customers availing of the scheme in County Kerry. The scheme is proving to be particularly effective for small business start-ups in local communities in Kerry.

Jobs Clubs in Tralee, Listowel and Killarney are providing employment support to over 1,000 jobseekers which ranges from CV preparation to formal job training. EmployAbility Service, Kerry helps local people with a disability to secure and maintain employment in the open labour market with the support of a job coach. This service also provides employment supports to travellers. Over 290 people in Kerry have availed of the service this year and 138 of these have since found work (part-time and full-time).

Minister Humphreys acknowledged the continuous efforts being made in tackling unemployment in County Kerry. The Department of Social Protection works closely with all local stakeholders in Kerry and it provides employment supports to jobseekers and to employers. Over 90 employers in Kerry have availed of the Department's JobsPlus wage subsidy scheme, giving work to almost 200 jobseekers. There are also many examples of jobseekers in County Kerry who have availed of the JobBridge internship scheme and who are now in full time employment with the same employer.

"I am confident that we are moving out of the recession and that employment is becoming a reality again. It requires continuous effort and determination by all involved; the Department of Social Protection in working closely with employers and jobseekers; employers in putting something back into their local community; and jobseekers in equipping themselves to become job ready."

Minister Humphreys will also visit the Killorglin Family Resource Centre and South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd, Killorglin. The Family Resource Centre provides services to some 650 people living in the town and its environs, five days a week, while the South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd is a community led local development company established in 1991 to promote rural development in the South Kerry area. Its projects are mainly in the areas of enterprise and employment, education and training and community development. The Minister will call to the Department's Intreo Centres in Tralee and Killarney where he will meet with the Department's staff who are delivering a wide range of services for the people of Kerry.

Minister Humphreys took the opportunity to encourage employers in County Kerry who have temporary seasonal work over the Christmas period to contact the Intreo Centres on Tralee or Killarney to source suitably qualified staff for their vacancies. The Minister also reassured jobseekers who get temporary work for up to eight weeks that they will not experience any delay in having their Jobseeker payment restored as soon as the period of temporary work has ended.

Minister Humphreys said; "People in receipt of either Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance who undertake seasonal work for up to eight weeks will have their Jobseeker's payment restored as soon as the employment finishes. The Department of Social Protection provides employers with a recruitment service to help them fill any vacancies in their businesses. Today, I urge employers throughout Kerry who have temporary work for jobseekers over the Christmas period to contact their local Department of Social Protection Intreo Centre or local office and staff will make every effort to help you to find the right people to fill these vacancies."

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

Last modified:10/11/2014