Dáil Éireann - Volume 495 - 03 November, 1998

Written Answers. - Local Employment Service.

140. Mr. Perry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps, if any, she has taken to allocate a local employment service in County Sligo in view of the fact that the allocation of local employment services in other areas have shown to significantly match the needs of job seekers with the needs of employers as well as specifically facilitating the alleviation of long-term unemployment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21896/98]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): I announced, on 29 September 1998, the expansion of the local employment service to seven new areas, namely Bray, Southside, canal communities in Dublin, Galway city, Monaghan, Tralee and Waterford city.

My Department received submissions from 14 areas, including the County Sligo Leader Partnership Company, requesting the establishment of a local employment service in their respective areas. Discussions were held with ADM Limited and PLANET — the partnership areas network — with a view to identifying those areas with could implement a service with the minimum delay. Taking account of those submissions and deliberations and the resources available to my Deparment it was decided that seven areas should be given approval to proceed at this stage.

The current round of expansion is consistent with the commitment in Partnership 2000 to extend the LES to disadvantaged areas over the lifetime of the programme. However, the roll-out of the LES can only be achieved in tranches. I regret that it was not possible to include County Sligo in the current phase. I hope to be in a position to announce a further expansion of the LES next year and, in that connection, County Sligo will, of course, be considered for inclusion.