Community employment schemes must be extended
Labour spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development Seán Sherlock has called on the Minister to extend current community employment scheme beyond the current end date of July.
Reiterating his call for a debate in the House on the matter, Deputy Sherlock said an extension is urgently required to allow for the progression that scheme attendees lost as a result of lockdown.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“People who have been on community employment schemes have had these schemes extended over Covid but, as they have not been operating, no training has happened or skills development has happened. All community schemes, whether it be learning a new trade, a skill in a soccer club, came to a shuddering halt as a result of Covid.
“The Minister must extend the scheme to make up for the lost training during lockdown, as well as to allow further progression within the scheme. We called for a debate on this in the House and while it’s welcome that the scheme has been extended to July, it must be pushed out further than that.
“Community employment schemes provide a very important and valued contribution to social employment, training and progression for unemployed people. Many community employment schemes provide vital community services right across the country and they cannot be another victim of lockdown.”