Kerrane says EmployAbility services must be protected

galway daily news claire kerrane at dáil child maintenance

Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has warned the government to avoid changing the payment model for EmployAbility.

Teachta Kerrane made the call ahead of a tender process which is due to be published in April.

The process will see EmployAbility service contracts put out to tender, in a similar way to the tendering of Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs services over the past two years.

EmployAbility services provide sustainable employment opportunities for people with a long term illness, injury or disability and support them into that employment.

Deputy Kerrane said that the details of the tender process and any proposed changes to the current service are not yet known.

The Sinn Féin TD said that it is crucial that Minister Heather Humphreys’ Department “learns lessons from the previous tender process” which she says saw employment services dismantled and the commodification of people seeking employment.

Her party stood against the privatisation of those employment services, and Deputy Kerrane said they will continue to oppose a payment by results model for job activation and employment supports.

“In particular, EmployAbility services support people with longer-term illness, injury and disabilities, and it is simply not appropriate to implement a model which seeks to place them in any job role, which payment by results is all about.

“These are some of our most vulnerable citizens. The community-based, wrap-around services that EmployAbility provides across the State offer must be protected as part of the forthcoming tender process.”