Minister Burton meets with 250 employers at Employer Briefing in Dublin


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The Department of Social Protection’s Intreo Service – assisting employers seeking workers and supports to grow their business

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., hosted an Employer Briefing in Dublin this morning (14th April 2014) and outlined, to 250 employers, the range of supports available from the Department which can help employers to grow their business. This morning’s Employer Briefing is the final one of six major briefings arranged by the Department of Social Protection throughout the country and is supported by IBEC, Chambers Ireland, CIPD and ISME. Today’s event took place at the Printworks Building in Dublin Castle.

Speaking with employers at the event, Minister Burton said: "The aim of these briefings is to emphasise to employers that the Department has a range of supports, such as the JobsPlus wage subsidy scheme, which can help them to expand.

"As the recent ESRI report indicates, we have moved from a vicious circle of no investment, no growth and no jobs to a virtuous circle – we have exited the bailout, the economy is growing again, employers are expanding, and we are getting people back to work.

"The most recent Central Statistics Office data shows that 61,000 more people were in jobs at the end of 2013, and unemployment has fallen from a crisis peak of 15.1% to 11.8% now.

"But this is still too high, which is why I am determined to increase the pace of the progress we are making. Employers are absolutely central to this - every time an employer can create a job they help us take one more step towards a sustained economic recovery. The Government and the Department are committed to making it as simple as we can for employers to hire. We are also committed to making it as attractive as we can for employers to hire people who are long-term unemployed."

The Department’s range of employer incentives include financial supports such as the JobsPlus scheme; employment initiatives such as JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme; and workplace supports to assist with the recruitment of employees with disabilities.

Through JobsPlus, regular cash payments are made to employers to offset wage costs where they employ people who have been on the Live Register for more than 12 months.JobsPlus offers a grant of €7,500 paid over two years to an employer who hires a jobseeker who has been unemployed for 12 months or more. The grant increases to €10,000 if the jobseeker has been more than two years unemployed. Since JobsPlus was launched in July 2013, it has helped to support more than 1,870 full-time jobs.

The Department of Social Protection can also provide job-ready candidates to help employers fill vacancies, and through the Department’s employment website www.jobsireland.ie, employers advertised over 106,000 job opportunities nationally during 2013. These services are provided at no cost to employers.

Speaking about JobBridge, Minister Burton said: "JobBridge has proven to be a very successful internship scheme which provides invaluable work experience for jobseekers. Independent evaluation of the scheme shows that three in five participants in JobBridge secure employment within five months of completing their internships. This is one of the best progression rates for such a scheme anywhere in the EU. Over 12,000 employers have availed of the JobBridge scheme taking on over 27,780 interns."

The Minister concluded: "I am encouraging employers to look at the skills of those on the Live Register, look at the employer supports offered by my Department, and take advantage of both.

"Engagement with employers is a central element of the Department’s Pathways to Work strategy, which is focused on reducing unemployment. Data published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, shows that Ireland’s unemployment rate is now in line with the Eurozone average, having been up to 40% above the Eurozone average only two years ago.

"While there remains a long way to go and much work to do in tackling the unemployment problem, the figures demonstrate that we are making firm and substantial progress. Pathways to Work, in tandem with my colleague Minister Bruton’s Action Plan for Jobs, is helping to get Ireland back to work."

ENDS

Pathways to Work complements the Action Plan for Jobs.The Action Plan is designed to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy, while Pathways aims to ensure that as many as possible of those newly created jobs go to people on the Live Register.

Last modified:14/04/2014