Concerns raised about future of Job Clubs

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Concerns have been raised about the future of Job Clubs as part of proposed changes to Employment Services.

Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane said that there are worrying updates following the launch of the Request for Tender for a new model employment services.

“Not only is the success of the Local Employment Services under threat,” said Deputy Kerrane, “we are now finding out that important Job Club services will likely no longer exist under the proposed changes.

“I raised the future of Job Clubs, which provide a crucial practical and individualised supports to those seeking employment, in Committee. The Minister advised that LES and Job Club will be merged, which means that this important drop-in service will no longer exist.”

The Sink Féin TD added that beore the tender was launched, it was said that those working in employment services would be ‘pleasantly surprised’ with the new model.

“Instead what has been put out for tender is worse than they could have imagined and continues to worsen as we find out more,” said Deputy Kerrane.

“The Minister stated the changes to these services are being made with those seeking employment in mind. If important supports like Job Clubs cease to be available, it is hard to see how the proposed model will do that.

“All of this is in addition to existing concerns that the new RES model is focused on profit over people.

“Various stakeholders have expressed worry that these changes will only serve to push those who need employment services most further away from the labour market. We cannot see this happen.”