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Are JobPath’s Days Numbered??



Only 18% of participants of JobPath have achieved full time work. The Governments highly criticised back-to-work scheme, JobPath, has revealed less than a fifth,18%, of it’s clients obtained full time work despite the scheme costing €84m. These figures are from the most recent release of data covering July 2015 to June 2016.


JobPath is called “an employment activation programme” and is intended to help the long-term unemployed to find and retain full-time employment and is provided under the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DSEAP). Selection for a JobPath placement is supposed to be random for Job Seekers on long-term unemployment and for newly qualified persons who may need intensive support, according to Citizens Information.


The job activation work is provided by Turas Nua ( covers the areas of Cork Central; South East; Mid-Leinster, Mid-West; South West; Midlands South) , a partnership with Irish owned FRS Recruitment and U.K. based Working Links and Seetec (West; Midlands North; North East; North West, Dublin Central; Dublin North; Dublin South), a subsidiary of a U.K. company, or those they contract in local areas.


Once a jobseeker is placed on JobPath they are asked to sign a contract with the providers, with the normal length of commitment 52 weeks. Clients commit to attending training sessions and appearing for monthly interviews with Personal Employment Advisors. They are expected to report any job applications and the results of their applications and to complete tasks set them by their Personal Employment Advisors.


While on JobPath clients can not access CE schemes or other training for career paths without JobPaths release. JobPath is payed primarily when they ‘place’ a person in employment and that person stays through set dates (releasing more payments). Releasing any clients from the contract would mean they will not receive that pay.


Clients are told participation is ‘voluntary’. “However, failure to engage with the service may affect a person’s welfare payment. All decisions about client welfare entitlements will be taken by Department officials.” It has been reported that up to €50 a week for 9 weeks may be deducted from social welfare payments if clients refuse to attend JobPath sessions and or training. Questions have been raised on blogs about the legitimacy of the government insisting on job seekers signing a private contract to maintain their social welfare commitments.


Searching under ‘JobPath’ reveals a number of long blogs and posts on boards by participants complaining of bullying and false information being provided by JobPath services. Sinn Fein published, highlighting the experience of some newly qualified teachers among others.


I checked with two of the teachers unions. One, while praising the work Sinn Fein has done on this, said they have had no complaints from members about JobPath. The challenge for their new entrants is not being forced on to JobPath but to refuse lucrative contracts in other countries. This is what they believe is causing the critical shortage of supply teachers. They describe recruiters from overseas attending Teacher Training Colleges career days with little or no participation from Irish institutions. The second also said the service has not been referred to their attention.


With the revelations of the “success?” of the scheme, members of the Dail’s Public Account Committee are expressing their concern.


Catherine Murphy TD said, “I have long had concerns about the quality of the scheme, when you take it with the stories from those who enrolled, but now there are real questions to be asked about the value-for- money aspect,”as reported in The Examiner by Daniel McConnell (


The Examiner article also quotes Willie O’Dea, Fianna Fáil’s social protection spokesman, has also called for the winding up of the scheme.


“We have had huge concerns about this for a long time, I am deeply annoyed that so much money has been going to line the pockets of private operators.


“Between the low success rate and the amount of money involved, clearly it is time to wind up the scheme because it is simply not working,” he is quoted in the Examiner article.


A full socio-economic review of the scheme is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2018. The Department will not release further information saying that information is commercially sensitive.


JobPath is the privatisation of employment support services by the government. It is ignoring the work of the Local Employment Services, Jobs Clubs, Skills to Succeed Academy, Jobs Seekers Pack, Jobs Ireland, and Community Employment schemes that are already in place to support back to work efforts. The reports from the many blogs and board posting speak of JobPath staff that are poorly trained with primarily performance related goals. The vast majority of it’s pay is when it places a client in work of at least 30 hours a week and the client passing 3, 6 and 12 month dates in the job.


Taking your skills and building up a CV via part-time work or CE schemes might be the traditional way of improving employment chances. JobPath though is an all or nothing option. The problem is that the all just needs to be a 30 hour a week job a ‘reasonable’ distant from your home for minimum wages for Seetec and Turas Nua to be paid. Unlike the Local Employment Schemes they have no commitment to truly support you in your longterm goals for work or employment.











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