Fine Gael Frank Feighan has welcomed the Government’s new Pathways to Work initiative which aims to help 75,000 long term unemployed people move into the workforce by 2015.
“A large number of people in Roscommon and Leitrim have been affected by the unemployment scourge, either directly or through a loved one who has lost their job. Pathways for Work aims to stop the slide of people into long term unemployment (over 12 months) and to ensure that as many job opportunities as possible are filled by people who are on the live register. The State will engage with every jobseeker to make sure that their first day out of a job is also their first step on the pathway back to work,” he told the Leitrim Observer.
“This involves a more streamlined approach, with the establishment of the National Employment and Entitlements Service (NEES). In addition to processing welfare entitlements, NEES employees will actively provide needs assessments and engage with newly unemployed people. It will then offer job search assistance or appropriate education, training or work experience opportunities to increase their employability.
“Many of the measures involved represent basic common sense and reflect international norms in relation to State involvement in supporting jobseekers. Unfortunately, under the last Government, State support for jobseekers cost a huge amount and delivered little as was evidenced by the FÁS debacle.”
Deputy Feighan urged jobseekers to engage with their local employment office and to avail of all opportunities to avail of jobs or training opportunities warning that jobseekers who refuse to avail of these opportunities will see a reduction in the jobseekers benefit.