Jobpath preventing people from taking work

Maurice Quinlivan TD

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan has criticised the Jobpath scheme, stating that it “does not make sense, economically, morally or socially.”

Speaking in the Dáil chamber the Sinn Féin TD said,“JobPath is undermining the viability of other schemes such as Community Employment (CE) and Local Employment Services and in a number of cases is preventing people from taking work.”

He then called on the Minister for Social Protection to have an immediate review of this flawed and regressive scheme, saying, “I have had a huge number of complaints from people involved in Community Employment  who tell me that they cannot fill vacancies on many schemes.

“This is because the vast majority of eligible participants are being ‘hoovered up’ by the private companies that are operating Jobpath on a commission basis for the Department of Social Protection. Whilst many people are missing out on the opportunity to access CE schemes and learn vital skills, local community services are at the same time starting to suffer from their inability to deliver crucial local services.

“Many of the communities affected often service very disadvantaged, older and disabled people.  This does not make sense, economically, morally or socially.”

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“I have also had complaints from participants on JobPath who are ‘going nowhere’ on that scheme and would prefer to be on a CE, or other social employment scheme, but cannot transfer.”

Deputy Quinlivan concluded:“In a case in Limerick a woman was referred to JobPath but five days later she was offered a place on a CE Scheme – JobPath have refused this person her place on the CE scheme, depriving her of a job and the charity service of a valuable staff member.”

“So while the Minister wants people engaged in job activation schemes and finding employment on the other hand, JobPath are directly blocking people from taking up employment made available to them.”