JobPath has cost €162.55m and provided just 11,334 jobs lasting at least one year – SF

Policy paper on employment scheme says 206,000 people have been referred to it since 2015

John Brady  said 117,131 people who had been through the programme ‘have not sourced employment or seemingly anything at all’.

John Brady said 117,131 people who had been through the programme ‘have not sourced employment or seemingly anything at all’.

 

The employment activation service JobPath has cost taxpayers €162.55 million and provided just 11,334 jobs that lasted at least one year, according to Sinn Féin social protection spokesman John Brady.

In a policy paper on the programme which is in place since 2015, Mr Brady said that 206,000 people had been referred to JobPath, of whom 40,869 started full-time jobs but only 11,334 were employed for at least a year.

JobPath is aimed at those on the live register for more than 12 months and looking for full-time employment.

The Wicklow TD who has raised the issue in the Dáil a number of times said 117,131 people who had been through the programme “have not sourced employment or seemingly anything at all”.

Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty has repeatedly defended the programme and said it is working and that there is a high level of satisfaction from those who go through the scheme.

The issue is expected to be raised in the House on Thursday morning when Ms Doherty takes questions on her area of responsibility.

The Sinn Féin policy paper, JobPath - Why It Has To Go, points out that over 21,000 people have been referred to JobPath a second time and 25 people have been referred to the programme for a third time this year, having already completed the programme.

A fee of €311 is paid to one of two private companies for every person referred to JobPath.

A further €613 is paid to the contractor after 13 weeks of employment, €737 after 26 weeks, €892 after nine months and €1,165 after a year.

The contractor receives a total of €3,718 for every person who has a job that lasts at least a year.

Mr Brady said Ms Doherty had confirmed that every referral is worth €311. “This means that the companies are being paid on the double for the same person and €933 for each of the 25 people referred this year for the third time.”

Two private companies Turas Nua and Seetec secured the job finding programme contracts to work with jobseekers and employers to identify job opportunities.

The latest available payment figures show Turas Nua received €75.7 million and Seetac €73.3 million for the programme.

A British-based company Working Links which has a 50 per cent share in Turas Nua has gone into administration.

In February, the Dáil voted to back a Sinn Féin motion and end referrals to the scheme and for the JobPath contract to be ended as soon as possible, without an extension.

Mr Brady said a majority of TDs did not support the “payment by results” model.

JobPath has had a detrimental effect on employment schemes with referrals drastically reduced, the policy paper states.

Figures show that the local employment scheme referrals dropped from 67,314 in 2014 to 18,498 in 2017.

Mr Brady states that with proper resourcing and funding, existing schemes could have managed unemployment levels.

Calling for the ending of the programme the policy document states that JobPath “has failed. It has not succeeded in sourcing full-time employment that is any way sustainable or meaningful for the long-term employed.”

The policy document concludes that job activation should be person-centred and acknowledge that no two people who are unemployed are the same.

“JobPath does not represent this and instead, focuses solely on finding a person a job, any job, because that is what pays them.”