Minister Burton officially opens Longford Intreo Centre


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Minister Burton officially opens Longford Intreo Centre
Income and Employment Supports available from new One-Stop Shop

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan BurtonTD, today (Monday, 27th January, 2014) officially opened the Longford Intreo Centre at Ballinalee Road.

Intreo is the Department of Social Protection’s transformative approach to helping people get back to work, offering an integrated employment and support service.

The Longford Intreo Centre will provide a one-stop shop for jobseekers where they can get their income supports and employment supports in the one place for the first time.  Intreo is a key element of the Government's Pathways to Work strategy to tackle unemployment.

Minister Burton said: "All the yardsticks by which we measure economic progress are steadily improving and the Live Register is one of them.  The Live Register for Longford at the end of December 2013 was 5,736 while the corresponding figure for the previous year was 6,147. While the  fall in the Live Register both locally and nationally is a welcome sign of the progress being made, it is also a sharp reminder of the considerable distance we have yet to go to secure work for the many people still unemployed and looking for work.
“I have focused on transforming the Department from a passive benefits provider to an active and engaged employment service through the Pathways to Work strategy.  The transformation of our local welfare offices into Intreo Centres is one of the central elements in that strategy.”

The Minister said that the Department of Social Protection will, in addition to basic welfare payments, spend over €1 billion this year on work, training, education places and related supports.   There are currently a total of 15 Community Employment schemes in Longford, providing 286 places for jobseekers.  There are 100 places available on the TÚS scheme in County Longford for jobseekers who are on the Live Register.  Regarding JobBridge, Minister Burton said that some 142 jobseekers have completed an internship in County Longford and a further 41 people are currently participating in the programme locally.

The Minister urged employers in County Longford to use the services of the Intreo Centre.  "Intreo Centres are not just for jobseekers, they are also for employers.  The Department of Social Protection provides 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 strongly recommend that all employers in the Longford area check out what Intreo has to offer them. The Intreo Centre will provide you with a range of services, helping you find recruits and informing you of innovative new schemes such as JobsPlus, the wage subsidy scheme for employers,” she said.

With the introduction of Intreo in Longford, information on all services provided by the Department of Social Protection is available in one location.   The integrated decisions unit is resulting in a more efficient and prompt decisions service on social welfare claims.  Through the recent introduction of activation services, there is more frequent and regular contact with jobseekers in advising and enabling them find work, education or training most suitable to their needs.   In addition, there is a facility available at the Centre for people to register for a Public Services Card.  Currently, over 200 invitations issue to customers in Longford to attend to register each week.

ENDS

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 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:27/01/2014