A new government plan which aims to get 75,000 long term unemployed people back into employment was launched in Dundalk on Monday. An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris, and Minister of State with responsibility for Business and Employment Damien English all attended the launch which was held in the Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Training Centre of Excellence in Xerox Technology Park on the Dublin Road.
The Pathways to Work 2021-2025 strategy will also seek to reduce youth unemployment rate to 12.5% as well as providing 50,000 further education and training places. Government say they will also deliver 10,000 apprentices and ring-fence 1,000 places on community employment and Tús programmes.
A training support grant worth €1,000 will also be provided to jobseekers to avail of short-term, accredited training programmes, such as a Safe Pass course.
The strategy will aim to provide recruitment subsidies of between €7,500 and €10,000 for employers who take people off the live register.
A new work experience placement scheme is also to be rolled out, which will see 10,000 jobseekers of all ages who have been unemployed for more than six months paid €306 per week as part of their placement.
The scheme is a voluntary, opt-in scheme for those wishing to gain work experience by working 30 hours per week while receiving their social welfare payment.
According to An Taoiseach the new plans main ambition is to exceed pre-COVID crisis employment levels.
“Last month, Government launched our Economic Recovery Plan. This Plan charts Ireland’s long-term, jobs-led recovery with a focus on building back better.
“The overall ambition of the Plan is to exceed pre-crisis employment levels by reaching 2.5 million people in work by 2024. Crucially, though, these jobs will be more productive, more resilient and more secure,” he explained.
“A critical step in delivering upon this ambition and overcoming the shock to our labour market is the implementation of our new national employment services strategy: Pathways to Work, 2021-2025.
“Therefore, Government is committed to delivering on the ambitions and commitments set out in the strategy in order to drive a jobs-led economic recovery, to build back better, and to build back fairer,” promised An Taoiseach.