Seán Canney has called for jobseekers to consider volunteering to help those in need.
The Galway East TD stressed the importance of help being provided to people and groups in need of support.
The Minister of Rural Affairs is backing the Voluntary Work Option programme offered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
A person in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance is allowed to engage in voluntary work as long as the individual is genuinely available for and seeking employment.
Minister Canney labelled the Voluntary Work Option as an “excellent idea on many levels”. He specifically referenced the help this gives organisations and individuals who need volunteers or wish to expand their activities.
Seán Canney mentioned how there are numerous voluntary organisations in Galway East providing great services to the community.
He declared that these organisations could provide an “even greater service with more volunteers”.
The Independent TD outlined the benefit that volunteering would provide to jobseekers. He proclaimed that volunteering also” enhances the job prospects of the jobseeker because it broadens his or her experience and offers an opportunity to learn new skills.”
Canney listed the vast amount of activities jobseekers could avail of such as helping people who are sick, elderly or who have a disability and assisting youth clubs, sports groups, cultural organisations and local resident associations.
He stated that these groups taking part in the Voluntary Work Option can be local or national organisations.
Either the jobseeker or the group can apply for an application form at an Intreo Centre or Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection branch office.
A Deciding Officer in the Department will then determine if someone looking for employment can take up the voluntary work without affecting his or her entitlement to Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit.
Minister Canney urged those who wanted more information to contact him.