Report of Stakeholders' Forum on review of Employment Supports by the Dept. of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

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On the 15th January 2013 the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Joan Burton, T.D. published a policy review and high level issues paper of the Employment Support Schemes prepared by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

An estimated €0.9bn was spent on schemes examined in the review providing activation places to an estimated average of 75,000 social welfare recipients in 2012. This outlines the significance of activation within the core functions of the Department and the need to ensure appropriate schemes exist to support unemployed people.

The review examines the current labour market context and the policies and programmes that currently exist within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to address the particular difficulties that the labour market is currently experiencing. Schemes are then individually considered, against an agreed set of criteria.

The review is focused primarily on assessing the contribution certain programmes can make to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s activation policy stance. It aims to ensure engagement with customers of working age, who are in receipt of specified social welfare payments, in order to support them and their families in progressing into employment or to another appropriate progression towards that.

Consultation with stakeholders was identified as a key aspect of the Department’s review process and consequently the Minister convened a stakeholders’ forum on 18th February 2013 in the Chartered Accountants House, Pearse Street, Dublin. The forum was chaired by Mr. Senan Turnbull who is the chairperson of the employment services advisory committee to the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The forum brought relevant experts, practitioners, policy makers and representative bodies together to consider the review and offer suggestions and input to how future policy in this area should evolve. This report provides an overview of presentations given and discussions had on the day. Almost 200 participants were in attendance and a list of the main organisations represented is contained at Annex one.

Last modified:10/05/2013