Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the publication of the Pathways to Work strategy 2015 by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys.
“The Pathways to Work strategy and the Action Plan for Jobs, both launched in 2012, work side by side in creating new jobs and in accelerating the tran sition to work for people on the Live Register. These schemes are working; more than 50,000 people who were long-term unemployed are now at work and over 70,000 new jobs have been created.
“The strategy published this week is important in ensuring that the performance of Intreo employment centres will be publicly benchmarked for the first time. Intreo centres will be obliged to ensure they are meeting targets to help jobseekers return to work.
“Pathways to Work is extremely progressive in tackling long term unemployment through JobPath; this is a system by which professional recruitment companies will be tasked with finding jobs for people who are long-term unemployed. These recruitment consultants have targeted plans and they will not get paid if they don’t find work for these people. JobPath shows that this Government is serious about getting people back to work, about defining a route to employment.
“The Pathways to Work 2015 also commits that at least 50% of candidates considered for interview will be taken from the Live Register, a new accounts manager within the Department of Social Protection will interact with businesses and the rollout of Youth Guarantee initiatives will continue. This scheme also targets the welfare trap by introducing a Working Family Dividend which will allow people returning to work to retain, for a set period, welfare payments.
“Unemployment has fallen from a crisis peak of over 15% to 11.1% now. I realise that there are still far too many people out of work but the economy is recovering and that is because the Government’s plan is working, and because of the sacrifices made by the Irish people
“It is this Government’s priority to secure the recovery to make sure that those who have still not felt the benefits of recovery can look forward to a better future. The Pathways to Work scheme is a key part of this plan as it specially targetS youth and long-term unemployed.