Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 108 - Departmental strategies [53846/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 108 - Departmental strategies [53846/22]. (29 Nov 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

108. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Social Protection the work that her Department has carried out to increase work capacity among vulnerable cohorts including those in addiction recovery. [53846/22]


Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys: Pathways to Work 2021-2025 is the Government’s national employment strategy. The goal of Pathways to Work is to help ensure that as many jobs as possible go to people who are unemployed.


One of the strategy’s five key strands is ‘Working for All – Leaving No One Behind’, which has the objective of promoting better labour market outcomes for all, including those facing additional barriers to work, such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, the Traveller and Roma communities, lone parents, people with a history of addiction and people with a criminal record.


For people with a recent criminal record or a history of addiction, Pathways to Work committed to considering making the higher level of the JobsPlus subsidy available to all employers who recruit an unemployed person from these groups. This was announced as a measure in Budget 2023, whereby from January 2023, the higher rate of JobsPlus employer subsidy of €10,000 over two years, will be payable to an employer who recruits a person who has a recent criminal record or a history of addiction (within 5 years). My Department is also continuing the Prison ‘in-reach’ programmes and supporting, through its Intreo service, the progression and work placement of ex-offenders on the Work to Change programme. To further reinforce existing services, a multi-agency protocol with the Irish Prison Service, IAZIO and Probationary Service was established with the Department in 2019. This is currently under review. Dedicated Officers have been assigned to support this initiative in all locations nationally. The protocol offers enhanced employment and upskilling supports for those exiting the Prison Service.


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