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Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton has welcomed the recent launch of JobsPlus, a new Government initiative aimed at incentivising employers to hire the long-term unemployed.

“JobsPlus was originally announced in Budget 2013 and will be operated by the Department of Social Protection. It is an employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities the long term unemployed who have been on the Live Register for 12 months or more.

“Employers who participate in the scheme can qualify for up to €10,000 for a qualifying recruit which is payable, monthly in arrears, over a two year period. Specifically, a payment of €7,500 will be made to any employer who hires a person who has been on the Live Register for between 12 and 24 months. This rises to €10,000 if the person has been unemployed for more than two years.

“Since coming into office, one of the main aims of the Government has been to create an environment to encourage job creation. Seven thousands jobs were being lost every month when this Government took office two and a half years ago. Now, two thousand jobs are being created every month. This schemes aims at ensuring that this progress does not bypass the long-term unemployed.

“To qualify for JobsPlus, the employer must be offering full-time employment of over 30 hours per week, over a minimum of four days a week. From discussions with employers it seems that many small businesses would like to take on extra staff but many are concerned about the cost this entails. This scheme aims to offset some of those costs.

“I would encourage local employers and prospective employees to go to the JobsPlus website to check full eligibility criteria and see if they can avail of the scheme”, concluded Deputy Stanton.