Jobseekers looking to earn extra money milking cows will be means tested
The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that anyone who earns additional income after completing a training course to milk cows, will be subject to means testing.
It comes as a four-week pilot training course is being rolled out to interested jobseekers and people in receipt of Farm Assist payments to gain the necessary skills to be in a position to be employed as dairy operatives.
Industry people have said that due to a shortage of skilled dairy farmer workers, the opportunity exists to earn €5,000 working part time on dairy farms. Dairy farming is under huge pressure at the moment to attract skilled workers as expansion in the sector continues.
However, while this part-time training course will commence in September, the Department said that all (or DSP customers) who obtain employment subsequent to any such training course will be subject to the same conditions as all other jobseekers.
The usual means tests rules and scheme conditions will apply, it confirmed.
Social welfare entitlements are dependent on the precise circumstances and/or means of the individual applicant, it said.
Jobseekers who participate in this part-time training course will retain their usual social welfare payment during the course, under the Part Time Education Option scheme rules.
The South East Regional Skills Forum recently undertook an analysis of labour market needs for the dairy sector in the region. As a result of this analysis, the Department of Social Protection is currently working with Teagasc, the IFA, and Farm Recruitment Services to highlight potential employment opportunities within the sector to jobseekers located in Waterford and Kilkenny.