Dáil Éireann - Volume 349 - 10 April, 1984

Written Answers. - Skibbereen (Cork) Employment.

540. Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Labour the plans he has for additional employment in Skibbereen, County Cork.

Minister for Labour (Mr. Quinn): My Department operate directly or through their agencies a number of schemes which are designed to encourage the creation of additional employment. The schemes operate on a national basis and as such apply to Skibbereen in the same manner as to other parts of the country.

Details of the schemes are as follows: Employment Incentive Scheme, under the scheme which is administered by the Department of Labour, premiums are paid to employers who create additional jobs and fill them by recruiting unemployed persons. During the coming month, I will announce some changes in the scheme. In 1983, premiums were paid for the first time for 470 workers in Cork city and county.

Enterprise Allowance Scheme, the scheme which is administered by the National Manpower Service, is designed to encourage persons on the live register and in receipt of unemployment compensation payments for a specified period to [1578] set up enterprises. An allowance of £50 or £30 per week, depending on marital status, is payable for up to 52 weeks. Enterprises in any sector of economic activity other than gaming or the promotion of political or religious views are eligible for participation.

In certain circumstances, the allowance or part thereof may be capitalised if this is warranted to assist in the acquisition of capital assets for the business. An additional incentive is being introduced into the Scheme whereby applicants in receipt of pay-related benefit may apply to capitalise any remaining weekly PRB entitlement. I will announce the details later this month.

At present, three persons in Skibbereen are participating in the scheme.

Grant Scheme for Youth Employment, this scheme as administered by the Youth Section of the Department of Labour is designed to encourage the employment of young people on desirable community works which would not otherwise be undertaken in the normal course at the present time.

In 1982, a project in Skibbereen provided for the employment of six young people and one supervisor and was funded for 34 weeks. This year, my Department have not received any applications for assistance from organisations in Skibbereen.

Community Youth Training Programme, the Community Youth Training Programme (CYTP) operated by AnCO is designed to provide training and work experience to young unemployed people (generally between 16 and 25 years) recruited by the National Manpower Service on projects of benefit to the local community. Depending on the nature of work, the project team may also include unemployed craftsmen, apprentices and general operatives. Projects may be put forward for consideration by non-commercial groups, local authorities, community organisations, church bodies etc. Three projects in the Skibbereen/Bantry area have been completed in the last 6 months and three projects are in progress at present.

Youth Employment Agency. From its establishment in March 1982 to December [1579] 1983 a sum of £3.48 million from levy proceeds has been allocated by the Youth Employment Agency to the support of sustainable job creation and enterprise developments. In the context of its specific brief in the job-creation field relating to community and youth enterprise, the agency developed two programmes of its own in 1983 — the Community and Youth Enterprise Programme and the Youth Self-Employment Programme.

The Community and Youth Enterprise Programme, this programme is aimed at directly involving community, voluntary and youth organisations in both creating economically sustainable employment for young people and raising the general level of enterprise and self-help among young people.

The Youth Self-Employment Programme, this programme is designed to assist unemployed young persons who want to set up a business, by enabling them to get a bank loan without security. There are, in addition, other job creation programmes which are funded, but not directly operated, by the Youth Employment Agency. One of these is the Young Scientists and Technologists Employment Scheme which is designed to promote the employment of young people with science and engineering qualifications and to assist firms to increase their technological capabilities. Another scheme is called Marketplace and is a job creation programme for young marketing graduates, with the objective of encouraging companies to employ marketing graduates.

As a general comment, I should say that admissions to the Schemes mentioned depend on individual businessmen and community groups coming forward with programmes and proposals that meet the eligibility criteria of the schemes.

Questions relating to manufacturing industry should, of course, be addressed to the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism.