Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Friday) said that an additional 2,000 Community Employment places are being made available to help those out of work to get a job. Deputy Doherty added that the Government will spend €1 billion this year on retraining and up skilling programmes aimed at getting people back to work.
“These extra places on the Community Employment (CE) programme will be specifically targeted at helping the long term unemployed get back into the workplace. More than 12,000 new jobs were created in the private sector last year, but one of the biggest challenges we face is ensuring those on the live register are able to take up the new jobs being created.
“The extra places mean a total of 25,300 places are being made available on CE schemes this year. Over the next 12 months, the Government will spend €1 billion on activation programmes and other supports aimed at helping people get back to work. For example, in the Budget, €11 million was allocated to provide the extra CE places and 8,000 additional other training places this year across a range of schemes.
“The scale of the challenge facing us remains huge. 150,000 jobs were lost in the construction sector alone in the final three years of Fianna Fáil’s time in Government. We are trying to ensure these people, and many others, can get the skills they need to be active members of the emerging economy which is based on enterprise and innovation, rather than banking and building.
“CE schemes play a very important role in local communities, helping job seekers to develop their skills, experience and confidence. We need to give particular help to those who have been unemployed for a long time, and who are finding it very difficult to get back into the workforce.
“I would encourage CE schemes in Meath with a proven track record to apply for the new places being made available. Existing schemes can apply in the normal way, through the local Department of Social Protection office. Special places are also being made available for innovative projects; again schemes should contact their local Social Protection office for more details.
“Retraining and up skilling is an essential part of our plan to ensure our workforce has the right skills to take advantage of the growth being experienced in key sectors like tourism, agri-food and ICT. In this way, we will reduce numbers of the live register and help jobseekers enter full time employment.”
Fine Gael Press Office
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