28 Sept 2022

Dáil backs proposal to end referrals to JobPath scheme which saw 160 Carlow people penalised

TD claims only 9% of jobs earned through programme lasted more than year

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Leinster House

The Dáil has backed a proposal to end the referral of Jobseekers to the Government’s jobs activation programme JobPath by 81 votes to 42.

The JobPath service, set up in 2015, targets people who have been unemployed for more than 12 months and aims to identify employment opportunities for them.

The scheme has been repeatedly criticised by Opposition TDs and one of its main critics Sinn Féin employment affairs spokesman John Brady introduced a motion in the Dáil this week to end referrals to the scheme.

Figures published this week by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, revealed there were 4,765 Jobseekers in Carlow who engaged with JobPath between July 2015 and January 2019. 

Out of those, a total of 160 Jobseekers had a penalty rate applied during their engagement with JobPath between that same period.

Jobseekers face financial sanctions if they do not engage with two private companies employed by the State to operate the scheme - Turas Nua and Seetec - after referral by the Department for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Those that refuse to engage with the scheme can have their social welfare reduced or cut off.

The Sinn Féin motion was supported by Fianna Fáil, Labour, Solidarity-People Before Profit, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and a majority of Independent TDs.

Minister for Employment Affairs Regina Doherty defended the programme and said some 41,000 people got full-time jobs through JobPath and another 5,000 had part-time jobs.

But Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers said that only 9% of those jobs lasted more than a year.

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