File photo - Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys and Taoiseach Micheál Martin
work experience

10,000 jobseekers to be paid €306 per week as new work placement scheme launched

The Pathways to Work 2021-2025 strategy was launched by the government this morning.

THE GOVERNMENT IS aiming to get 75,000 long-term unemployed people into employment within the next two years under a new plan launched today. 

The Pathways to Work 2021-2025 strategy will also seek to reduce youth unemployment rate to 12.5%, provide 50,000 further education and training places, deliver 10,000 apprentices and ring-fence 1,000 places on community employment and Tús programmes. 

A €1,000 training support grant is to be provided to jobseekers to avail of short-term, accredited training programmes, such as a Safe Pass course.

The strategy will aim to provide recruitment subsidies of between €7,500 and €10,000 for employers who take people off the live register. 

A new work experience placement scheme is also to be rolled out, which will see 10,000 jobseekers of all ages who have been unemployed for more than six months paid €306 per week as part of their placement. 

The scheme is a voluntary, opt-in scheme for those wishing to gain work experience by working 30 hours per week while receiving their social welfare payment.

The new strategy is being launched today in Dundalk by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris and Minister of State Damien English. 

“As we recover from this pandemic, Pathways to Work is about ensuring we support and assist tens of thousands of our citizens in entering or re-entering the workforce,” Minister Humphreys said today. 

“It’s about leaving nobody behind, providing new opportunities to retrain and re-skill and, above all, giving people the support they need to secure quality, sustainable employment,” she said. 

“This is important for our society, our economy and for every unemployed person, whether they lost their jobs due to Covid or who were already unemployed pre-Covid.”

Work Placement Experience Programme

Alongside the Pathways to Work strategy, the government has also launched a new Work Placement Experience Programme. 

This new programme will benefit 10,000 jobseekers of all ages, who have been unemployed for more than six months (including time in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment).

This initiative aims to keep jobseekers close to the labour market and provide them with quality work experience to increase their prospects of returning to employment.

Participation will be entirely voluntary and the payment rate for participants on this programme is set at €306 per week.

The total cost of this programme over two years is €95 million with a contribution of €27 million from the National Training Fund.

This programme is also included as a priority for funding under the National Resilience and Recovery Plan submitted to the EU Commission.

“This new programme will provide unemployed people with the opportunity to build their work experience and avail of accredited training and development opportunities,” Humphreys said.

“I strongly encourage employers and jobseekers alike to participate and get involved in this new work placement experience programme over the coming months,” she said.

In addition, the government announced that subsidies of up to €10,000 will be paid to employers who hire people that are on the Live Register.

Harris also announced that 50,000 further and higher education training places are to be made available.

He highlighted that the government is also focusing on boosting the apprenticeship programmes, adding that the scheme that pays employers €3,000 to take on an apprenticeship has also been extended to the end of the year. 

With reporting by Christina Finn

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