The government has launched Pathways to Work 2021-2025 – an ambitious new strategy designed to drive employment as Ireland recovers from COVID-19.
The national employment strategy, which contains 83 commitments across all government departments, was launched on the 12th of July 2021 in Dundalk by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris, and Minister of State with responsibility for Business and Employment Damien English.
Pathways to Work builds on the government’s Economy Recovery Plan in kick-starting a jobs-rich recovery, ensuring there are 2.5 million people in work by 2024.
The strategy will remove barriers to employment, provide tens of thousands of training and education places, significantly enhance the Public Employment Service, provide incentives to employers to take people off the Live Register, and deliver a special package of supports for young people.
Among the key commitments include:
- reduce long-term unemployment: Get 75,000 long-term unemployed people into employment by July 2023
- young people: Reduce youth employment to 12.5%, provide 50,000 further education and training places, deliver 10,000 apprenticeships, recruitment subsidies for employers who take young people off the Live Register; ring-fence 1,000 place on Community Employment and Tús programmes
- Work Placement Experience Programme: In line with international best practice, provide 10,000 paid quality work placements, 4,000 of which will be reserved for young people. Participants on the scheme will be paid €306 per week with additional amounts payable in respect of dependent adults / children
- employers: Recruitment subsidies of between €7,500 and €10,000 for employers who take people off the live register
- Employment Services: Host 150 job promotion events per annum, significantly enhance the capacity of the Public Employment Service, Intreo, and assign a dedicated case officer to all unemployed people to help them back to work
- €1,000 Training Support Grant: Provided to jobseekers to avail of short term, accredited training programmes
- Welfare Reform: Drawing on the experience of the pandemic, develop proposals for a basic income guarantee and a new pay-related short-duration jobseeker payment
- Leaving Nobody Behind: Extend targeted employment supports to groups facing challenges entering the workforce such as people with disabilities, lone parents and minority groups, including travellers
- Remote Working: Provide remote working options to participants of work placement, education and training schemes