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Community Employment in 2013

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, gave details of the operation of Community Employment (CE) in 2013 (Dail Eireann, Debates, 13th February 2013, 606).  There would be 2,000 additional places, bringing the total to 25,300.  Priority would be given to schemes in community child care, social and health services, drug rehabilitation and those with a clear track record of development and progression toward employment.  500 places would be reserved for child care support.  She acknowledged that there had been a decline in the participation of lone parents, due to budgetary changes and every effort would be made to encourage take-up.


The minister also gave details of participation numbers on CE in 2012, which fell from 23,716 in January 2012 to 22,444 in January 2013 (Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th February 2013, 233-4).  Of these, the numbers participating in drug rehabilitation rose from 824 to 830 and priority would continue to be given to them.    She explained that her department was fully committed to utilizing all places in 2013 through an improved referral process.  


The minister told Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG, Laois Offaly) that the additional places would be both for the expansion of existing schemes and for new schemes (Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th February 2013, 230).  There was an opportunity here to encourage innovation, new approaches and models of delivery to help the long-term unemployed, with 100 places reserved for such proposals.