Question No: Ref No: 25387-15
To the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the extent to which the various youth unemployment alleviation measures have resulted in successful full time job placements; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 24th June, 2015.
R E P L Y
Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection Kevin Humphreys TD):
Under the Government’s policies to support the young unemployed, our first intervention is to provide case officer support to help newly unemployed young people find and secure sustainable jobs. Accordingly operating processes are being refined in each of our regions to prioritise the early engagement of young people through Intreo to ensure that all young people receive expert advice and have access to progression options. In addition as part of our commitment to engage with 100,000 long-term unemployed people through the Intreo/JobPath process during 2015 we are prioritising engagement with the c 25,000 young people who are already long term unemployed.
For those who do not find employment, through the process just described, additional offers are provided for. Most such offers (over 70%) are in existing further education or training programmes. Others are in existing community-based employment programmes such as CE, Gateway and Tús, In addition we have recently introduced new programmes specifically for young people including JobsPlus youth €“ an employment subsidy for unemployed people under 25 years of age which is payable after four months of unemployment and First Steps €“ a work experience programme for very disadvantaged young people.. There are a number of additional planned measures still to be implemented (International Work and Experience Training, County Enterprise Board Youth Entrepreneurship and Mentoring Supports). It should be noted that some of the initiatives planned under the Guarantee required primary legislation to allow positive discrimination on age grounds in the provision of employment services and supports.
Given the recent introduction of changes systemised data is not readily available on employment outcomes on all programmes specifically for those jobseekers under 25. However, some indicative figures are available. For example,
· a follow-up survey, published by SOLAS in 2013 of FÁS Trainees who exited training in May/June 2012, found that 36% of full-time trainees under 25 had gained employment.
· An Indecon report surveyed JobBridge interns who had finished their internships by end August 2012. The survey indicated that 39% of young participants progressed into employment immediately on completion of the internship and that the proportion in employment rose to about 60% five months after completion. Analysis of administrative data on those under 25 who have completed a JobBridge internship more recently shows a similar progression rate to employment immediately on completion of the internship, at 37%.
· JobsPlus provides subsidies to employers for the full-time employment of those formerly long-term unemployed on the Live Register. Currently there are 4,901 participants benefiting from JobsPlus, 664 (13.5%) of whom are under 25. It is too early to know what might be the employment outcomes once the JobsPlus subsidy expires.
The Department of Social Protection has initiated on an extensive impact evaluation programme which will assess, using counterfactual econometric methods, the impacts of programmes and processes on employment outcomes. This will include the longer-term employment outcomes for young jobseekers under 25.
Reflecting the impact of government policy, and the overall improvement in the labour market, youth unemployment continues to fall (with a rate of 20.2% (37,100 persons) in May 2015 estimated by CSO, as compared to 25.0% (50,000) persons in May 2014 and a peak of over 31% (70,600 persons) in 2012).