Dáil Éireann - Volume 650 - 13 March, 2008
Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.
Deputy David Stanton Deputy David Stanton
Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the numbers of persons currently participating in the FÁS community employment scheme: if there is a cap on the number employed; if so, if the cap is applied in the same way in each region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11023/08]
Deputy Micheál Martin Deputy Micheál Martin
Deputy Micheál 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 fixed term 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. The overall Community Employment numbers have been maintained at a constant level of around 22,500 since 2002. Currently, there are approximately 22,600 individuals availing of CE nationally.
The aim of CE still remains as an active labour market programme with the emphasis on progression into employment. The programme is managed within this context, with consideration to the availability of resources and the needs of participants and the community. However, it should be remembered that, in so far as participants remain on CE, they are precluding someone else from benefiting from the programme. FÁS makes every effort to ensure that differing levels of demand between neighbouring schemes are equalised. FÁS also operates the programme flexibly as far as possible to ensure the continuation of community projects.
In conclusion then, I would say that this Government will continue to support the positive role of CE in meeting the needs of long-term unemployed persons while at the same time providing essential services to communities. In this regard, we are keeping the operation of the Scheme under constant review.
Dáil Éireann 650 Written Answers. Community Employment Schemes.