Action plan is designed to get long-term unemployed back working
THE National Employment Action Plan (NEAP) was established in 1998 by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, which oversaw FAS at that time. It was designed to increase employment by helping to retrain the long-term unemployed and to assist in job hunting.
Under the current system, if you have been receiving Jobseeker's Benefit for three months, you are referred by the Department of Social Protection to FAS for a NEAP interview.
Those who are deemed 'job-ready' are provided with advice and instructed to go job hunting. Others are referred to FAS courses.
The ESRI study found that those who went for the interview or 'activation' process were less likely to find work.
One of the reasons given for this was that they were not monitored to ensure they were actively job hunting.
Over 25pc of people were found to be not eligible for NEAP because they had received assistance during a previous spell of unemployment.
A further 25pc slipped through the net for a variety of reasons -- including not enough interview places being available -- meaning only 50pc of the unemployed entered the programme.