Brian Stanley Sinn Féin TD for Laois/Offaly and Party Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government raised the below question for answering on the 6th of May. We are very appreciative that he forwarded the answer to us.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of persons employed on Gateway schemes by local authorities; and if she will provide a breakdown of the number, for each county and city council.
As the Deputy will be aware, Gateway is a County and City Council work scheme which aims to provide short-term quality and suitable work opportunities for those who are unemployed for more than 24 months. Participants benefit by being involved in work. They improve their work readiness and are able to apply their existing skills and learn new ones. The scheme is also intended to assist the personal and social development of participants with the objective of bridging the gap between unemployment and re-entering the workforce.
Funding of the order of €22.4m is being provided in the Department’s Vote in 2015 to cover placements under the scheme.
Gateway was introduced in line with the commitments set out in the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work and the overall aim is to provide 3,000 work placement opportunities. While progress was initially slow, I am delighted to confirm that over 70% of the placements available have now been taken up. As of Friday, 24th April, there were nearly 2,100 participants on the scheme and I want to commend all the local authorities for the work they have done in getting the scheme up and running over the past few months.
The number of participants on the Gateway scheme in each city and county council as of 24th April last is set out in a table that has been appended for the Deputy.
Appendix: Table 1