15 March 2012

Pathways to Work represents common sense approach to supporting local jobseekers - Fitzgerald

Govt spend on supporting jobseekers has increased by €95 million to €977 million

Local Fine Gael TD and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, has welcomed the Government’s new Pathways to Work initiative which aims to help 75,000 long term unemployed people move into the workforce by 2015.

“A large number of people across Clondalkin, Lucan, Newcatle, Rathcoole and Palmerstown have been affected by unemployment, either directly or through a friend or family member who has lost their job. Pathways to Work aims to stop the slide of people into long term unemployment (over 12 months) and to ensure that as many job opportunities as possible are filled by people who are on the live register. The State will engage with every jobseeker to make sure that their first day out of a job is also their first step on the pathway back to work,” said Fitzgerald.

Pathways to Work aims to bring a streamlined and responsive service to jobseekers, with the establishment of the National Employment and Entitlements Service (NEES). In addition to processing welfare entitlements, NEES employees will actively provide needs assessments and engage with newly unemployed people. It will then offer job search assistance or appropriate education, training or work experience opportunities to increase their employability.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Fitzgerald urged both jobseekers and employers to get in touch with their local social welfare offices to assess their options.

“Local employment offices are the first point of contact and will help jobseekers to avail of all opportunities to avail of jobs or training opportunities. Jobseekers who refuse to avail of these opportunities will see a reduction in the jobseekers benefit. Similarly, I urge local businesses in Clondalkin and Lucan to re-engage with their local employment office when they have a vacancy to fill.

“We have a highly skilled and educated workforce and this Government is determined that no one who loses their job should be able to drift without support into long term unemployment,” concluded Fitzgerald.