Minister Humphreys and Minister O’Brien announce new measures to support Community Employment Schemes nationwide

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien TD, have announced on 22nd March a series of improvements to Community Employment (CE) Schemes.

CE Schemes play a vital role in both rural and urban communities in terms of supporting people on the road to employment.

There are 835 CE Schemes nationwide delivering a wide range of community services, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

Currently, there are over 18,500 CE participants.

As part of the package secured by the Ministers, the following measures are being introduced:

  • The payment of a €1,000 grant to CE sponsor organisations to help them deal with rising costs;
  • Adult dependants of CE participants in receipt of a Jobseeker’s Payment will qualify in their own right for the first time;
  • Eligibility for CE Schemes will be reduced from 12 months on the live register to 9 months for Ukrainian nationals who have fled the war.

Recent changes to CE scheme eligibility and qualification criteria

  • All people over 60 years of age are able to remain on CE until reaching retirement age.
  • CE participants whose contract term was coming to an end are permitted to stay on CE until a replacement is found.
  • Updating the baseline year to 2014, and to ensure that this is updated annually.
  • Putting enhanced referral procedures in place to support recruitment to CE.
  • New flexibility to allow CE schemes to directly recruit eligible candidates to fill 30% of places.

Note for Editors:

Community Employment (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged people with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.

The CE sponsoring authorities employ participants to deliver a range of services to local communities throughout the country. As well as contributing to the delivery of local services, CE participants develop a range of occupational skills and work experience that help to improve their own prospects of securing full-time employment.

The types of work CE participants are involved in include local amenities management, environmental projects, arts and culture, sports, childcare, Tidy Towns, health-related services, meals on wheels and drug rehabilitation schemes.

Minister for Social Protection, Joe O’Brien, and Minister Humphreys made numerous declarations during the announcement of the changes on March 22, to find out more visit: Minister Humphreys and Minister O’Brien announce new measures to support Community Employment Schemes nationwide – MerrionStreet