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Launch of Tús

The Minister for Social Protection, Eamon O Cuiv, announced the launch on 21st December of the new community work placement initiative, Tús, (Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th January 2011, 378).  The minister told Billy Timmins (FG, Wicklow) that it provided 5,000 short-term, quality work opportunities for the long-term unemployed, to be delivered by the local development companies and Udaras na Gaeltachta.    Tús was being rolled out in Westmeath and in the Northside partnership area, with potential candidates given until 24th January to respond to  requests issued by the department.  He expected first placements in February and the programme would be quickly rolled out to other local development companies.  The minister added that his department was consulting with the companies on the national roll-out.  Suitable work placements would need to be identified by the companies within community, voluntary and and not-for-profit organizations working in their area.  The promotion of Tús has already started.  His department was preparing support material with a short guide to Tús, the identification of the skill level of the participants and terms and conditions (Dail Eireann, Debates, 25th January 2011, 588).

Later, he told Joanna Tuffy (Lab, Dublin MW) that the government would provide 15,000 activation places under the budget.  Aside Tús, the others were a skills development and internship programme, providing people three months unemployed with a 12-month hosted internship (5,000 places, but dependent on employers coming forward to participate) and the work placement programme (2,000 to 7,500 places) for 9-month work experience placements in public, private, community or voluntary sector organizations (Dail Eireann, Debates, 26th January 2011, 781-2).  The rules stated that the placements could not be used to fill existing vacancies.