Minister of State Kevin Humphreys to officially open new Intreo Centre at Bishop's Square, Dublin 2


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The latest Department of Social Protection Intreo Centre will be officially opened today (Friday, 28th August, 2015) by Kevin Humphreys, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection with special responsibility for Employment, Community and Social Support.

The new Intreo Centre located at Bishop's Square, Dublin 2, will provide a one-stop-shop for jobseekers where they can get employment and financial supports in the one place for the first time. The support now being provided through Intreo will be customised to each customer’s individual skills, experience and qualifications. A tailored progression plan is planned and agreed between the jobseeker and their Case Officer. This plan helps the jobseeker in deciding the training and development programmes they should pursue to maximise their access to job opportunities. The Bishop's Square Intreo Centre is an amalgamation of a number of social welfare and community welfare offices in Dublin 6, 6W and 12.

Speaking at the event this morning, Minister Humphreys said: "The Intreo programme has been a great success all around the country and I’m delighted to be here today to officially open latest Intreo Centre. The one-stop shop approach is working, and the feedback from people is very positive. People are going back to work, the Central Statistics Office QNHS data shows that employment has increased by 3% over the last year, with 57,100 additional people now at work. This continues the upward trend since late 2012 and now means that 1,958,700 people are working. The unemployment rate stands at 9.6%, down from a high of 15.1%, I’m confident the services available from this office and our network of Intreo Centres throughout the country will play a crucial role in helping people back to work as we build the recovery".

The Minister urged employers to use the services of the Intreo Centre, he said "Intreo Centres also provide a range of services for employers, helping them find recruits and informing them of innovative schemes such as JobsPlus. My Department pays an incentive of €7,500 to employers for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 months and €10,000 for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. I would encourage any employers here today to ask our staff about the scheme or to visit jobsplus.ie".

In addition to managing income and employment supports, the Intreo Centre oversees a range of other supports for jobseekers living in Dublin 6, 6W and 12, including Tús, Gateway, Jobsplus, JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, the Work Placement Programme as well as the Back to Education and Back to Work schemes. There are over 900 people in the region currently availing of these schemes.

The Minister also spoke of the forthcoming Jobs Week, which takes place from 28th September to 2nd October and is being organised by the Department of Social Protection. A series of events will take place during the week, to promote current vacancies available to jobseekers and employment supports to employers: "The Department’s Jobs Week initiative will be held the last week of September and is a good example of the Department new approach. I know this Office will be heavily involved in supporting our Intreo Careers Fair in Dublin Castle on Tuesday 29th September. I would encourage all businesses and employers here today to ask our staff about Jobs Week and to become involved in making Jobs Week a success".

Note for Editors

The Intreo process consists of five main elements:

An integrated 'one-stop-shop' reception service: This replaces the three previously separate services from FÁS, the Department of Social Protection and the Community Welfare Service (HSE). In practice, this means that the client receives complete information on a more timely basis in one location, and that all follow-on appointments can be scheduled at the same time.

A single decisions process: Previously, clients submitting claims for social welfare payments might have had to wait some time for their claim to be awarded as details of their employment status and income were assessed. While awaiting this payment, clients were entitled, by submitting a separate claim to the Community Welfare Service, to an emergency Supplementary Welfare Allowance payment. The new Intreo process significantly reduces the time taken to decide a claim and those clients who might still require a supplementary payment can have this decision made as part of the single process rather than having to submit a separate claim. As part of the decisions process, a personal profile (known as PEX) is captured for each individual and this profile informs the approach taken at the next stage in the process – activation.

An integrated activation/employment service process: Previously clients had to wait at least three months before an appointment could be made with an employment services officer, and in some cases this appointment had to be triggered by the client themselves. Now, under the new process, all clients must attend a group engagement session – typically within a week or two of registering for jobseekers' payments. Depending on their personal profile, they are subsequently scheduled for follow-on one-to-one meetings with an experienced employment services officer.

The group engagement session is designed to give clients basic information on their entitlements and the services that are available to them in order to help them return to work. Each client is given a fact sheet in preparation for and in advance of the one-to-one meeting. At the one-to-one meeting, the employment services officer/case worker will go into greater detail as to the employment and training supports available and help the client to prepare a Personal Progression Plan (PPP).

Follow-up meetings are then scheduled to monitor progress against the plan and to adjust it, as circumstances dictate. Clients may also be contacted in the periods between one-to-one meetings to check if the client is following the actions agreed under the PPP. Ultimately clients who, despite the assistance of their case officer cannot make progress on the pathway into employment/further education, may be directed to, and required to, take up a place on a State employment or training scheme.

Social Contract – Rights and Responsibilities: This contract underpins the Intreo approach. It is a record of the commitments being made by the Intreo service and also of the commitments expected of clients who avail of that service. In other words, a social contract to ensure that all parties understand that with rights to supports from the Department come responsibilities to engage with those services. The commitments expected of clients are that they will:

  • Co-operate with the Intreo service in developing a Personal Progression Plan.
  • Use this plan to strive to secure employment.
  • Attend all meetings requested by the Department.
  • Provide all information requested by the Department.
  • Clients who register for the service will be expected to sign and honour this Record of Mutual Commitments.
  • Failure to honour this commitment can lead to a reduction in, and ultimately a cessation of, payments.

Employer Engagement: The Department already offers a suite of services that can assist employers in recruiting staff from the Live Register. These include:

  • Job advertising and job-matching services (jobsireland.ie)
  • An internship scheme - JobBridge (jobbridge.ie)
  • Financial supports for recruiting long-term unemployed people – JobsPlus (jobsplus.ie)
  • In-work supports to employees – Part-time Job Incentive scheme and Family Income Supplement
  • WorkAbility services, including wage subsidies and grants, for employing people with a disability.

For information on upcoming events or to get involved in Jobs Weeks 28/09/15 – 02/10/15 please email jobsweek@welfare.ie

ENDS

Last modified:28/08/2015