THE KILKENNY JOBS CLUB, which has sourced employment for hundreds of local job seekers, needs to find a new sponsor in order to secure its future.
Funding for the Jobs Club is available through FAS but the local sponsor, Noreside Resource Centre for the Unemployed, has pulled out of its sponsorship role after 12 years, without a replacement sponsor secured.
A public meeting was held in order to highlight the plight of the Jobs Club. The meeting was attended by 35 Jobs Club past participants, community activists and local politicians.
By the end of the meeting a working group had been established to try to secure the a new sponsor for the Jobs Club.
FAS is not able to directly fund the jobs club and requires that there is an intermediary group to act as the employer of Jobs Club staff and administrator of funds. Unless a sponsor can be found the Jobs Club will close its doors on April 29. The working group, composed of Timothy Haide, Ken Kirwan, John McGuinness TD, Cllr Paul Cuddihy, Mayor Martin Brett and Margret Egan will be meeting to try and find a new sponsor.
A spokesperson for the Noreside Resource Centre said that they could no longer devote the time that was required to the programme. The spokesperson said “We’ve been involved with the Jobs Club for a number of years and it really has come down to a time commitment . It is now down to FAS to find another sponsor.”
According to FAS Community Service Manager, Marius Cassidy, the withdrawal of the sponsor is not a massive problem. Mr Cassidy said “The sponsor has decided not to continue with the sponsorship. They perform this role in a voluntary capacity. Over time we would expect sponsors to change. It is a big responsibility and they do change. We now have to come up with a new sponsor in Kilkenny. We are confident that we will be able to find a new sponsor.”
Community activist, Steve Murphy said he new of about half a dozen community schemes that would be willing to step in as sponsors.
He said “At least half a dozen schemes would be willing to set up a committee to see you through, because the work that is done here is so important.”
Despite government promises to provide a jobs budget with in the first 100 days in office, Kilkenny unemployment services have been suffering.
Jobfit a government initiative to help the long term unemployed back into work was closed on the April 1 after it failed to secure an extension to its funding.
It had provided a similar service to the Kilkenny Jobs Club. Both services were aimed at helping get the long term unemployed back into the work force.
The Kilkenny Jobs Club has been operating out of the Abbey business centre for 12 years. It provides a training course in order to help improve peoples self confidence and get them back into the jobs market. They also provide one to one service, preparing job seekers for interviews and helping with CV’s. In any given week they see about 120 people and help them look for work.