The following is a list of government employment schemes available for unemployed people who are in receipt of a social welfare payment. These initiatives aim to encourage engagement in employment opportunities.
This scheme became operational on 1st July 2011. The National Internship Scheme provides internship opportunities of 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community & voluntary sectors. The National Internship Scheme will have 5,000 places and it will be the first initiative operated under the National Employment and Entitlements Service.
The aim of the National Internship Scheme is to provide those seeking employment with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, maintain close links with the labour market and to enhance their skills and competencies through a quality internship opportunity.
It is expected that individuals who participate in the National Internship Scheme will enhance their prospects of securing employment in the future.
It will be a time limited scheme for a maximum of 2 years, so it seems that applications for internships will continue to be accepted until 30 June 2013.
Participants will receive, through the Department of Social Protection, a single allowance consisting of €50 per week on top of their equivalent existing social welfare entitlements. No employer top up contributions will be allowed.
For further information click here.
The Work Placement Programme is a Government supported programme that brings employers and the unemployed together for a nine month work experience placement. Participants do not need to be in receipt of a social welfare payment.
The placement is unpaid and voluntary. However, if you are already in receipt of certain social welfare payments, you may be allowed to retain your payment while on a placement.
If you are unemployed and have not secured paid work, the programme allows you to apply your skills and gain valuable experience in a workplace setting. This could give you an edge when applying for jobs in the future. Employers benefit from having someone contribute to their business, whilst also enhancing the skills and career prospects of the individual.
To apply for placements you must be registered with FÁS, and record your 'expression of interest' in the Work Placement Programme. You can do this at any local FÁS Employment Service Office, or Local Employment Service Office (LES).
If you are already registered with FÁS you can record your 'expression of interest' over the phone by calling Freephone 1800 611 116 or direct call 046 9738000.
If you are a graduate with a level 7 qualification you can apply for both the graduate placements (WPP1) and the non-graduate placements/everyone else (WPP2).
See the FÁS website for more information or click here.
This scheme is for people who have been getting Jobseeker’s Allowance for 15 months or more. It allows them to take up part-time work and get a Part-time Job Allowance instead of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.
For more information on this scheme click here.
These initatives apply to community & voluntary work placement programmes.
Community & Voluntary organisations will be able to develop and deliver services locally and benefit from the skills and experience the unemployed person can bring. Participants will benefit by being involved in work and those who participate will improve their work readiness and will be able to apply their current skills and learn new ones.
For further information on TÚS click here.
Community Employment is an employment programme which helps long-term unemployed (at least six months) people to re-enter the workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment through a return to work routine.
The programme aims to enhance and develop both technical and personal skills which can then be used in the workplace. The CE programme is generally sponsored by groups wishing to benefit the local community, namely voluntary organisations and public bodies involved in not-for-profit activities.
To participate in the DSP (Department of Social Protection) CE programme, you must:
- Register at your local Employment Services Office and
- Meet certain Eligibility Criteria
The Department provides financial support in the form of Allowances and Funding to assist with the programme, for example participant wages, supervisor grants, materials grants, and specific skills training grants.
You should contact your local Employment Services Office for further information about Community Employment (CE). For further information click here.
The Job Initiative Scheme is a programme in Ireland providing full-time employment for people 35 years of age or over who have been unemployed for 5 years or more.
The aim of the Job Initiative programme is to assist long-term unemployed persons to prepare for work opportunities in the open labour market. You have the same employment rights and protections regarding annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, disciplinary procedures and your income is taxable.
Note: Since November 2004, there has been no further recruitment onto the Scheme. Instead, you are invited to consider applying for available Community Employment vacancies. The following information therefore only applies to those currently employed under the Job Initiative Scheme.
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed.
If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you may be able to keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.
The scheme is often referred to as the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance. You can get immediate access to the allowance if you meet the following qualifying conditions:
- Setting up as self-employed in a business that has been approved in advance in writing by a Jobs Facilitator or Partnership Company
- Getting one of the qualifying payments below for at least 12 months:
(Jobseeker's Allowance, Jobseeker's Benefit, One-Parent Family Payment, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance, Carer's Allowance (having stopped caring duties) Farm Assist, Invalidity Pension, Incapacity Supplement, Pre-Retirement Allowance,Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension, Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance, Prisoner's Wife's Allowance or Illness Benefit for 3 or more years)
The website selfemployedsupports.ie has information on the services and entitlements available if you are self-employed and your income is reduced.
The Back to Work Allowance Scheme encourages unemployed people (among others) to take up employment. The Scheme is aimed at people getting a social welfare payment for a certain period of time.
The Back to Work Allowance Scheme is closed to new applicants from 1 May 2009. If you qualified before this date you will receive support for three years i.e. 75% of your payment in year 1, 50% is year 2 and 25% in Year 3.
People participating in this scheme keep a percentage of their social welfare payment along with secondary benefits for a period of up to three years. The percentage of your payment you keep is called the Back to Work Allowance. The Back to Work Allowance part of your income is not subject to taxation or social insurance (PRSI). Your employer may also qualify for the Employers PRSI Exemption Scheme (closed from 1 May 2009).
For more information on this allowance click here.
The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) is aimed at low-income farmers and fishermen/women.
To qualify for the RSS you must be getting a social welfare payment. In return, people participating in the RSS provide services that benefit rural communities. For example:
- Maintaining and enhancing various walking routes
- Energy conservation work for older people and those at risk of poverty
- Village and countryside enhancement projects
- Social care and care of older people
- Community care for pre-school and after-school groups
- Environmental maintenance work
- Projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres
- Community administration or clerical work
- Any other appropriate community based project identified during the scheme
You would work 19.5 hours per week. These hours are to ensure participation on the scheme does not affect your farming/fishing activities. If you get a place on the Scheme, you are offered a contract from your start date up to the following 31 March. You may be considered for a further term following the initial contract, if you continue to meet all the criteria for the Scheme.
For further information on the RSS scheme click here.
Revenue Job Assist is an additional tax allowance for people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and who are now returning to employment.
The initiative provides an extra tax allowance that can be claimed for each qualifying child dependent.
This tax allowance can be claimed for 3 tax years and may begin with either the tax year in which the employment commences or the following tax year.
The scheme is an alternative to existing employment schemes and you cannot claim these tax allowances if you are participating in another employment scheme.
For more information click here.
The scheme aims to support job creation and counteract people drifting into long-term unemployment and welfare dependency.
Employers are exempt from liability to pay their share of PRSI contributions for 12 months – 8.5% or 10.75% of gross pay.
If an employer created a new job after June 2010, they may qualify for an exemption of employer’s PRSI for this job. The provisional scheme criteria are as follows:
- The employee concerned must have been on the Live-Register (Unemployed) for at least 6 months;
- The job must be full-time and must be new and additional – employers will not be allowed to substitute existing employees to avail of the scheme;
- The employer will be required to furnish an up-to-date Tax Clearance Certificate;
- Employers will be limited to a maximum participation rate of 5% of their existing workforce or, for smaller companies, a maximum of 5 new jobs;
- The job must last for 6 months or more. If it does not the PRSI exempt amounts will have to be repaid by the employer.
For further details click here.