Local Labour Senator John Whelan has welcomed the launch of the new JobsPlus programme by Minister Burton as a hugely positive step by the government in getting the long-term unemployed into work.
“I welcome this vital new initiative, which sees employers who hire someone who has been long-term unemployed receive regular cash payments against the cost of a new employee.
“Employers will be able to access up to €10,000 for each recruit, so this payment offsets the cost of taking on a new employee. Measures like this are needed in the current economic conditions, in which employers may be reluctant to take on new employees.
“As someone who spent over two years on the dole from 2009 to 2011 I know firsthand how demoralising and soul destroying this experience can be, especially as it drags on. Very often it’s difficult even to get an interview.
“But we all know that it’s easier to get a job, when you have a job. Therefore, this JobsPlus initiative is a vital and tangible intervention to entice employers to take on new staff. I believe that this scheme will be both a big help to employers and those struggling to get back into the workplace.
“I have working with Minister Burton and my colleagues to find new and imaginative ways to address the problem of long-term unemployment, and this is just one of several measures the government has adopted to create incentives for employers to hire in what is a challenging business environment.
“It will be brought forward in conjunction with the Action Plan for Jobs, which targets support for growing industries, and the Strategic Investment Fund, which provides funds from the National Pension Reserve Fund to invest in sectors that have greatest commercial and employment potential.”