Source: Sinn Féin
25 September, 2019 – by John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has today received confirmation from the Department that referrals to JobPath, which were due to end this year, will now be extended for a further year.
Teachta Brady said:
“We have been consistently told that referrals to JobPath would cease at the end of this year. The contract signed between the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection and the JobPath providers Turas Nua and Seetec provided for four years of referrals with two years of a run-off period where no referrals would be made.
“The contract allowed for the possibility of extending the referral period for a maximum of two years.
“However, this did not appear likely especially as unemployment rates continued to fall. However, the Government are now using the fall-out of Brexit as a reason to extend the referral time by one year.
“The Department are also insisting that by extending the referral time, it gives them the opportunity to review the scheme and other existing contracted schemes to develop a new model from 2021 onwards. Of course, given the fact that the Department knew the end date for referrals to JobPath was 2019, they could have easily commenced this review much earlier.
“During the Summer, I met with Department officials to determine whether or not referrals to JobPath would cease at the end of 2019. I got the impression at that meeting that the target number of referrals as laid down in the contract between the Department and the JobPath providers had not been met and therefore, additional time was needed in order to reach the contractually obliged targets. I believe this to be the real reason for this extension.
“This news will be met with great anger by many people, some of whom have participated in the JobPath scheme three and four times.
“A Sinn Féin Motion was passed in the Dáil earlier this year to immediately cease referrals to JobPath, this continues to go ignored by Government and they are now pedalling Brexit as an excuse for this extension of referrals which will not wash with anyone.”