Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan - New measures to protect the future of Community Employment Schemes in Kilkenny

Gillian Mooney

Reporter:

Gillian Mooney

Email:

news@kilkennypeople.ie

A range of new Government measures designed to protect the future of Community Employment (CE) Schemes will widen the range of people in Kilkenny can take part. That’s according to Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.

“Thankfully the number of CE Scheme participants has fallen as the Live Register continues to fall. The latest CSO data for March shows that the Live Register dropped by 42.9%  in Kilkenny since the launch of Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs in February 2012. The national unemployment rate is now down to 6.4 %, which is down from 8.3 % a year ago.

 

 The Fine Gael TD continued on by stating “However it’s important that we reform CE Schemes to ensure a greater number of long-term unemployed people here in Kilkenny can take up the places, gain valuable skills and experience, and support community services.

“There will be a strong focus on social inclusion in the future alongside the traditional purpose of helping people into the workforce. CE Schemes provide work experience and training for people who are long-term unemployed, but they also benefit communities across the county by supporting community services in childcare, health and social care, outdoor works and local facilities. Here in Kilkenny the overall number of scheme places available in 2017 will be 579. CE will continue to be the largest programme this year with 438 places available. The balance will be made up of 17 placements in the Rural Social Scheme and 124 places in Tús.

 

“One of the changes is a reduction in the entry age for CE Schemes from 25 to 21 years of age, allowing more young people here in Kilkenny to take part. Also a guaranteed minimum number of places will be available in Kilkenny by linking the places to the number of people on the Live Register. This will better enable the Scheme to meet demand. 

Mr. Phelan concluded by commenting on how the programmes help those unemployed,  

“I have seen at first-hand how these programmes deliver both for unemployed people and for their communities. They support key services across Kilkenny, including childcare, health and social care, sports clubs and community centres , and local amenities. That's why we are making CE schemes more flexible and putting in place new conditions which will open them to more people who are long-term unemployed, so that they continue delivering for participants and for their local area.”