Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 15 February, 1989

Written Answers. - Social Employment Scheme.

77. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Labour if his attention has been drawn to the difficulty in obtaining suitable workers in some areas for the social employment scheme; and if he will amend the rule whereby a person who has been employed for a period of the year with the social employment scheme has to go back for a full 12 months on unemployment assistance-benefit before becoming eligible for work with the social employment scheme again; and if he will reduce this waiting period to 13 weeks as applies in many other places of the social welfare code.

Minister for Labour (Mr. B. Ahern): The social employment scheme is targeted at persons over 25 years who are long-term unemployed, with the aim of assisting them to regain a foothold in the labour market. It is the major labour market intervention to assist the long-term unemployed. Accordingly, it would be inconsistent with the objective of the scheme if it were opened up to short-term unemployed persons on any significant scale.