Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has called for the protection of local employment services in their current form, which is community-based and not-for-profit.
The call comes as the service is set to go out to tender which the government says is required in order to comply with EU procurement rules.
Deputy Kerrane explained that local employment services offer a unique service, not just to those referred to them but through their walk-in service.
The services provided are person-centred and additional wraparound services are also available, which must be protected, the Sinn Féin TD said.
“While it is welcome that the Local Employment Service is set to be expanded to parts of the state without such a service, through the first phase of the tendering process, it must be maintained in its current structure,” said Deputy Kerrane.
“There can be no dismantling of the community and not-for-profit ethos. There are legitimate concerns that the Department are moving towards a fully privatised model of job activation – this is not something we support.”
The Roscommon-Galway TD said that she has spoken with the Irish Local Development Network and local employment service staff, and that she intends to meet with a SIPTU representative in the coming days.