Time to stop private companies profiting on the back of jobseekers

Sinn Féin will tomorrow bring forward a Dáil Motion aimed at ending the mandatory nature of JobPath and immediately ceasing referrals to the service.

JobPath is a job activation service delivered on behalf of the Department for Employment Affairs & Social Protection by two private companies Turas Nua and Seetec, who make money on the back of jobseekers.

Speaking ahead of the Dáil debate, Teachta Brady said:

“The emergence of JobPath in 2015 signalled a new move in the Department’s privatisation agenda for job activation by allowing private companies to profit on the back of jobseekers.

“To date, over 205,000 people have engaged with JobPath. Once referred by the Department to either Turas Nua or Seetec, a jobseeker faces financial sanctions if they do not engage with the private company.

“Of this figure, over 21,000 have been referred twice having previously completed the programme in full.

“Although initially set up to engage the long-term unemployed, the providers have also dealt with 24,185 people who are working part-time, including substitute teachers.

“JobPath not only comes at a huge cost to the taxpayer but also at great expense to other community based schemes such as Community Employment who not only benefit the participant but also provide vital services in towns and villages across the State.

“There are currently over 1,900 CE vacancies. Other schemes such as the Local Employment Service have seen a drop in referrals across the State.

“Figures from November last year show that out of the 190,000 people referred at that stage, just 9% (or 17,100) had secured employment which was sustained for at least one year.

“This alone cost the taxpayer €3,718 per person. Providers also receive double payments where the same individual is referred twice.

“The bottom line is JobPath has failed. It’s ‘any job will do’ attitude means that the service does not put the individual first.

“It has cost the taxpayer millions and it has been detrimental to existing and reputable community based schemes. It is time to stop lining the pockets of private companies whose only motivation is to make money.”

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