Dáil Éireann - Volume 626 - 25 October, 2006
Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.
Mr. Stanton Mr. Stanton
Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is a restriction imposed by lack of funding on the number of people aged over 55 that FÁS can employ under the community employment schemes due to lack of funding from his Department; the amount of money made available to FÁS in 2006 by his Department to facilitate over 55’s employed under the community employment schemes; his plans to increase the funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34837/06]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: Community Employment (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary basis. CE helps unemployed people to re-enter the open labour market by breaking their experience of unemployment through a return to a work routine and to assist them to enhance/develop both their technical and personal skills.
To cater for older workers in particular, in November 2004 I revised the 3 year CE capping to allow those of 55 years of age and over to avail of a 6-year period on CE (based on participation since 3rd April, 2000). This measure was introduced in recognition of the fact that older participants may find it more difficult to progress into the open labour market.
 Currently there are over 6,000 people over 55 years of age on CE. This represents circa 29% of those on CE, a figure which has increased from 25% at year end 2005. Funding for CE in 2006 is based on 22,000 places on CE schemes nationally, a figure which is similar to the 2005 allocation.
Dáil Éireann 626 Written Answers. Community Employment Schemes.