Business Irish

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Fas work-placement scheme finds job for 1 in 230

Louise McBride

Louise McBride

ONLY one out of every 230 people on the dole is currently working under a scheme set up by the previous government to tackle joblessness among graduates and the unemployed.

The Fas work-placement scheme, which was launched in May 2009, allows graduates and the unemployed to take up an unpaid work placement while continuing to receive the dole.

Although there are currently 440,000 people on the dole, only 1,876 of these are on placements under the scheme.

Since it was launched, 3,875 people took up placements -- but many of these have since dropped off. The maximum time that can be spent on any one placement is nine months.

A spokeswoman for Joan Burton's Department of Social Protection said one of the reasons for the low take-up included the voluntary nature of the scheme. The inability of participants to get additional financial incentives on top of their dole payments was cited as another reason.

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) said it had concerns about the nature of the employment provided by the scheme.

"We have concerns about whether or not the work people get will really enhance their CVs and make it easier for them to find work when the upturn comes," said INOU spokesperson Brid O'Brien.

"We have also got feedback to suggest that people may be getting let go from paid jobs and then replaced by someone else who is taken on for free under the work-placement programme. With a scheme of this nature, it's important to ensure that paid employment is not displaced."

The spokeswoman for the department said the reason individual placements could not exceed a period of nine months was because "it is deemed that the organisation could be using the work placement as an alternative to recruiting an employee for the same role."

Sunday Indo Business

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