Dáil Éireann - Volume 287 - 04 February, 1976

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Community Enterprise Schemes.

[1145] 17. Mr. Lemass asked the Minister for Labour if he will introduce community enterprise schemes similar to those operating in England which will permit local authorities and voluntary agencies to employ young people to carry out socially desirable work which would otherwise not be done and thus relieve to some extent the plight of many schoolleavers who cannot find work and do not qualify for social assistance.

Mr. M. O'Leary: On 16th October, 1975, I announced a series of measures designed to deal with youth employment and training. Among the principal measures introduced was a pilot scheme entitled “The Community Youth Training Programme”. This project was particularly directed towards young people who have difficulty in securing employment and involves work on community projects which are identified and carried out in co-operation with local authorities.

The initial projects carried out in the eastern region have proved successful and I have authorised An Chomhairle Oiliúna, who have undertaken overall responsibility for coordinating the projects, to extend the scheme throughout the whole country. It is hoped that 1,000 persons will receive training under the programme. To date 30 to 40 projects have been submitted for approval and are at present under consideration by AnCO.

Mr. Lemass: I asked the Minister about socially desirable schemes and whether private enterprise could be assisted in promoting such projects as cleaning up rivers, parks, dumps and so on. In England they have a scheme of this nature which is subsidised by the Government. I am asking the Minister if he would introduce a similar scheme here so that the thousands of children who are available for employment can get a job.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Under the scheme that I announced in October grants are paid towards the cost of projects undertaken by voluntary organisations and local authorities which employ [1146] young people to carry out socially desirable work.

Mr. Lemass: It is not working very well.