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Reforming employment schemes including Community Employment Scheme

DUBLIN: The government plans to reform employment schemes, including the Community Employment Scheme, with the aim of increasing recruitment and retention.

The changes are aimed at helping the long-term unemployed find employment through training in local communities. The government had earlier allowed CE and RSS participants above the age of 60 to continue in the schemes till retirement. The new measures are in addition to these previous changes.

The reforms will affect Community Employment (CE) schemes, Tús and the Rural Social Scheme (RSS). As part of this, there will be extensive changes in the eligibility criteria. It will also give local supervisors more flexibility in terms of recruitment and retention.

There are currently over 19,000 participants in Community Employment, around 5,000 in Tús, and nearly 3,000 in the Rural Social Scheme. The government is spending €500 million this year in these three schemes.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said: “We now have record employment in Ireland with over 2.5 million people at work.”

“While this is hugely positive it does present challenges for local schemes in terms of recruitment which in turn has a knock-on effect on the delivery of important local services in communities,” she added.

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