The JobPath Scheme is estimated to cost €65 million this year and €350 million over the six year period. This money is paid to private contractors who were given this contract in a shroud of secrecy.
Increasing numbers of people are reporting major problems with the JobPath programme. There are instances of people being made to travel long distances to jobs that are unsuitable, where training is inadequate and often little or no experience.
These problems and others are well articulated in Sinn Féin ‘s ‘JobPath Exposed’ document published by my colleagues Deputies John Brady and Denise Mitchell.
We have asked questions about the fees paid to each company for registering each new long-term unemployed person. Each time we have been refused this information, due to ‘commercial sensitivity’.
It is unacceptable that Departmental funds and tax payers’ money is being spent in such an unaccountable manner.
Other schemes such as Local employment Service and CE schemes have been affected by JobPath companies effectively stopping people from choosing positions available on them.
Very often these positions are far more suited to the person in terms of location, experience gained and future employability. Yet in the drive to get more people signed up to JobPath they are vetoed from signing up.