CE Campaign Update 21/09/17
As the Dáil reconvenes this month, our campaign continues, as we try to fight against the privatisation of our welfare services, protection of our community organisations and improve the lives of participants on Community Employment Schemes.
Recent Dáil parliamentary questions have shown 119 000 long term unemployed have been enrolled in the privately ran programme JobPath. These people have not been given fair choice of Community Employment positions and have been strong armed into the programme through threats of reduction or cessation of their welfare payment.
The JobPath programme is gradually replacing Community Employment as a method for long term people to re-enter the labour market as CE positions continue to fall correspondingly as JobPath enrolment continues to rise. This gradual replacement comes at a cost to us all. Community Employment provides directly QQI approved training, provides community services (crèches, youth projects, community centres, heating insulation for people on low incomes, sports clubs, charity work, drug rehabilitation etc.) and provides direct onsite mentoring. In comparison, JobPath provides no direct training in employable skills, no community services used by all and provides infrequent off site mentoring for vulnerable long term unemployed populations. Unsurprisingly, Community Employment maintains a higher progression rate of people into the labour market and education.
As a policy, JobPath has failed by comparison to Community Employment yet the present Government continues to pursue, at this stage, can only be ideological reasons rather than pragmatic ones.
Our campaign has once again contacted Minister Regina Doherty and Minister Katherine Zappone to request meetings to air these problems and find a fair and reasonable compromise.
We our also, continuing to petition to make representation to the Committee on Welfare Reform to explain the disastrous affects
Finally, we have posed a number of Parliamentary questions to Ministers via Sinn Fein’s John Brady, who has helped us with the campaign so far.
We will keep you updated.