Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide an update on her plans to introduce in 2013 a community employment-type scheme to assist councils in the upkeep of the country’s rural roads network; and if she intends to expedite such a scheme in view of the numbers of tourists expected to travel on Irish roads during The Gathering.
Written reply from Minister Joan Burton: The Government, as part of the Budget package for 2013 announced a number of initiatives focused on providing work opportunities for those currently unemployed. The key elements of this package are to add an additional 2,500 places to JobBridge; 2,000 places on community employment; 2,500 to Tús – the community work placement initiative – and the development of a new initiative with local authorities to provide 3,000 opportunities in 2013. This is in line with the commitments set out in the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work.
The design of the local authority initiative and the nature of work to be undertaken will be determined by local authorities with the input of a range of stakeholders, including those bodies responsible for the delivery of other schemes funded by the Department of Social Protection. Development work on this new initiative has commenced with the local authorities and I hope to be a position to agree a number of pilot projects to inform the design of this important initiative in the coming weeks.