Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Grant to help unemployed into work

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has unveiled new schemes to help the unemployed

The Government has pledged to pay a quarter of the wages for long-term unemployed returning to work under one of 333 ambitious new job creation measures.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said a direct one-in-four euro grant will be given to company bosses in a radical scheme to revive the crippled labour market.

While he said this was one of a myriad of plans for more than 10,000 new jobs this year, Mr Kenny refused to put an exact figure on the total number of positions the Government hoped to achieve. "It's impossible to put an accurate figure on this," Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach insisted the public needs to see the "big picture", which includes 333 goals to boost support for small businesses and attract thousands of visitors to Ireland during The Gathering.

The Government will pay a subsidy of one in every four euro paid to a worker hired under its Jobs Plus initiative - a back-to-work scheme targeting the long-term unemployed.

"It's a scheme that is designed to be more simple, more effective, more direct for the employer with an emphasis on taking on people who have qualifications, who have competence but have been out for 12 to 24 months," Mr Kenny said.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said it was designed to tackle the scourge of long-term unemployment which has been shown to make it harder for a person to get work the longer they are unemployed. "It's the opportunity to put it in the hands of employers," Mr Bruton said.

"Something that they can easily understand. They don't have to be in profit to benefit, they don't have to wait for two years to see the cash back, they don't have to commit that the job is going to last for two years or whatever.It's a much more accessible scheme."

The employer incentive, one of the 333 schemes launched as part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2013, will be operated by the Department of Social Protection.

The Government will allocate a grant of 7,500 euro for recruits who had been on the dole from between 12 to 24 months, and 10,000 euro for recruits unemployed for more than two years.

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