Today, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection discussed the procurement of PEmployment Services with SIPTU, Fórsa and Department of Social Protection. Officials have now confirmed that existing services will be provided with a 6 month extension.
Here are my opening remarks as Cathaoirleach:
Watch the full discussion here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/video-archive/committees/4677
Social Protection Committee to discuss Public Employment Services with SIPTU and Fórsa and Department of Social Protection
28 Sep 2021, 17.59
The Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands will discussed the procurement of Employment Services with SIPTU, Fórsa and Department of Social Protection officials at a meeting in Leinster House tomorrow, Wednesday, 29 September.
The meeting will take place in Committee Room 3 at 9.30am.
SIPTU’s Deputy General Secretary John King, Divisional Organiser Adrian Kane, National Jobs Club Committee Bernard Fennessy; Fórsa’s Head of Division Ashley Connelly, Assistant General Secretary Lynn Coffey, Branch chairperson David Orford; and Department of Social Protection officials, Assistant Secretary Niall Egan and Principal Officer Chris Kane will appear before the Committee.
Committee Cathaoirleach Denis Naughten TD said: “The Committee recommended in its recent pre-Budget submission that Local Employment Services and Job Clubs be maintained in their current model.
“There are concerns that a tendering process for employment services initiated by the Department of Social Protection will lead to possible redundancies and a disruption of service continuity at the worst possible time for jobseekers.”
“And there is a real fear that the person centred approach of employment services and jobs clubs will be replaced with a purely placement focused approach excluding valuable key aspects of existing services like personal development.”
“The Committee welcomes both Fórsa and SIPTU which represent over 350 workers employed in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs throughout the country to hear their concerns on the changes being made by the Department. The meeting is also an opportunity to question the Department on these changes and to get a description of the Regional Employment Service tendering process, comparable results achieved by JobPath, Intreo based services, Job Clubs and Local Employment Services and the reason behind the new phased procurement process.”