Communities the length and breadth of Ireland benefit hugely from the input of three particular work schemes – Community Employment Programme, TU and Rural Social Scheme.
In Clare there are 740 participants on such schemes for example. In Ireland there are thousands on such programmes. During the rescission there were cuts in these training/work schemes.
All three have eligibility criteria set out by the Department of Social Protection.
A single person for example whose benefit is 188.00euro, then get an extra 22.50euro for working for 19.5hrs. Total or 210.50 euro in total. Plus basic training.
Non-profit groups are set up around Ireland which hosts these programmes. Where limited liabilities applies, and have to register as Companies.
Community Organiser Dermot Hayes said: “I would like to see these participants getting an extra €20euro per week for their work. These participants who keep voluntary and community organisation going. Working alongside people who are full time staff earning significant more money.”
“In the late eighties I myself was Community Employment participants followed by 10 years of managing such a scheme in a voluntary group in Clare. I was glad to be working. I note of late there is a lot more red tape around eligibility. This could be lessened I feel. Especially for people over 50 years of age. As this group have difficulty getting jobs in the general work force.
I would like to see sponsors of such employment programmes lobby for an increase for their participants who keep the doors open in much community open and keep our community clean and neat,” Mr Hayes added.