Dáil Éireann - Volume 561 - 11 February, 2003
Written Answers. - Summer Jobs Scheme.
Mr. Naughten Mr. Naughten
505. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the criteria for the 2003 student summer jobs scheme; the number of places available in the current year; the number in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3772/03]
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): The students summer jobs scheme was first introduced in 1993 to provide income support for less well off students who were disqualified under social welfare legislation from receiving unemployment assistance during the summer months. The scheme allowed students to take up part-time work useful to their community and to receive payment for this work.
When the scheme was introduced unemployment levels in Ireland were among the highest in the EU and students found it difficult during the holiday period to obtain work. In the past five years, however, the take up has been dropping significantly, from 13,500 in 1998 to 4,600 in 2002. This decline reflects the greater and wider availability of alternative and well paid summer jobs in recent years. In view of the above and in light of the financial pressures on my Department, it has been decided to discontinue the students summer jobs scheme. I have, however, requested the area based partnerships to consider alternative measures to assist students from disadvantaged areas in finding suitable summer employment.
The number of places available on the scheme, that is, jobs offered by sponsors, in the past five years and the number of students who availed of those places is indicated in the following table.
Dáil Éireann 561 Written Answers. Summer Jobs Scheme.