Saturday 23 September 2017

Troika: Unemployed must get training to get back working

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton is under pressure from the Troika to make sure unemployed people are getting sufficient training to get them back into the jobs market.

But the latest report from the Troika is also at odds with Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin.

The report, following the second last review of the bailout before Ireland exits the Troika programme later this year, says more staff should be redeployed to the Department of Social Protection.

It wants to double the number of “case managers” at the new Intreo offices to help get people back to work and says “the authorities will seek ways to increase redeployments beyond existing targets by redeploying staff from outside the Department of Social Protection”.

However, Mr Howlin today ruled out giving Ms Burton’s department more staff, and the Troika want updates on the rollout of Intreo, as well as a review of Education and Training Boards (ETBs).

This would be done to see its relevance of some services to getting the unemployed, and the long-term unemployed in particular, back to work.

However, the latest report is not as critical as before on long term unemployment, an area which was previously described as a “critical bottleneck”.

The report from the Troika, published by the Department of Finance this afternoon, also says “high level annual targets” to increase the rollout of generic drugs must be brought in.

And it says a new framework must be introduced to streamline “multiple financial management and accounting systems” in the health service, which has been plagued by spending overruns. 

The report also confirms that water charges are on in the way in the “fourth quarter of 2014”.

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