Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has warned the government can no longer ignore the stark reality of their plans to privatise community employment services after a damning report into the failures of JobPath.
The report, published yesterday by the Public Accounts Committee, criticised the scheme for costing huge sums to the tax payer while helping few people to successfully find suitable employment.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“JobPath has failed. The figures and the costs associated with it speak for itself. Yet, the Government ignore the reality staring them in the face.
“I have repeatedly raised the ineffectiveness of the Scheme and the blatant waste of taxpayers’ money since 2015.
“After years of being told that the level of taxpayers’ money being handed over to the private companies running JobPath was ‘commercially sensitive’, it took until November 2018 for the figures to be publicised through the Public Accounts Committee, at our request.
“In 2019, a Sinn Féin Motion was passed in the Dáil calling for an immediate end to referrals to JobPath and for resources to instead be directed at ramping up community based, not-for-profit employment services, something the Government now intend to erode even further by tendering out Local Employment Services and Job Clubs.
“JobPath has cost the taxpayer over €275 million since 2015. In that time over 376,000 people have been referred to the Scheme, of which just over 26,000 found employment which lasted at least 52 weeks, a success rate of just under 7%.
“The Public Accounts Committee are just the latest in coming to the same conclusion on JobPath. The Government need to listen. They need to end their privatisation agenda for job activation and ramp up existing community, not for profit services which have worked for the last 25 years.”