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Community Employment review

The outcome of the review of Community Employment (CE) schemes was raised by Barry Cowen (FF, Laois Offaly) (Dail Eireann, Debates, 17th July 2012, 11-13).  The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, told him that her department had contacted schemes to advise them of their revised allocations.  The new materials and training budget was €20.5m, up €9.5 m from €11m, following transfers from savings identified elsewhere in the departmental budget.  Under the revised arrangements, schemes would no longer be given universal levels of financial support, but specific levels.  Savings had been identified in the areas of insurance costs and audit fees.  Barry Cowen pointed out that many CE schemes had seen their budgets cut by between 30% and 40%.  There were big variations in the cuts, which in some cases would lead to possible closures, while there had not been an improved level of access to employment, training and education.  The minister informed him of the progress made with the JobBridge scheme and the EmployAbility scheme.


Later, she told Caoimhghin O Caolain (SF, Cavan – Monaghan) that she hoped to have the planned consultation on CE in October, to which interested parties, social partners and the voluntary and community sector would be invited (Dail Eireann, Debates, 17th July 2012, 117). 


Later, she elaborated that the following conditions applied:

  • No scheme would receive more than €1,000 for materials and training per place a year;
  • Some schemes may receive less than €500 a place;
  • Scheme must demonstrate savings on 2011, especially insurance and audit costs;
  • No scheme may exceed the materials grant of the previous year;
  • No scheme may receive more than it originally indicated that it needed (Dail Eireann, Debates, 17th July 2012, 304).

> Additional references: Dail Eireann, Debates, 19th July 2012, 878-9.