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Just 69 people have taken up Gateway places

The Gateway scheme would pay long-term unemployed people €20 a week to work in their local communities.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection scheme that pays participants €20 to carry out work in their local communities has filled just 69 roles.

Gateway was announced in Budget 2013 and was designed to have long-term unemployed people carry out village enhancement, landscaping, remediation and animal work in their local communities.

Participants would work 19.5 hours and receive €208, a top-up of €20 on the top Jobseeker’s Allowance payment.

Local authorities have been given an allocation of places to fill, but as of yesterday just 69 people have taken up any of the 3,000 positions, in just three local authorities: Fingal, Louth and Limerick.

A Department of Social Protection spokesperson told that they were not involved in filling the roles.

“The process of identifying work opportunities for Gateway participants and consulting the relevant stakeholders is currently underway.

“The Department of Social Protection has no role in determining the positions to be made available within each council given the range of services that county and city councils deliver.  A variety of tasks will be identified and made available to Gateway participants.

“This includes a mixture of new opportunities and opportunities to work in services that have not been provided by county and city councils due to the pressure of scarce resources.”

Read: Dole cut for long-term unemployed who refuse to work in local authorities

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