For Oral Answer on : 14/07/2022
Question Number(s): 121 Question Reference(s): 34902/22
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
* To ask the Minister for Social Protection the work that is being undertaken by her Department to present employment opportunities for jobseekers to address labour shortages in the economy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– David Stanton T.D.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 14 July, 2022.
Government’s employment services strategy is set out under Pathways to Work 2021 – 2025.
This strategy sets out how my Department will deliver our public employment service through Intreo and contracted service providers. The core objective of the public employment service is to help match jobseekers with employment opportunities as the economy recovers from COVID. This strategy is working – with the unemployment rate now at pre-COVID levels – at 4.8%.
In fact, we now have record numbers of people in the labour force – the highest the State has ever recorded with over 2.5 million people at work in quarter 1, 2022.
This brings its own challenges, with a much tighter labour supply than anticipated. I am aware that some employers are now facing difficulties recruiting staff. This means that the priority of our public employment service is to work closely with employers so that they recruit from persons on the Live Register. Currently there are some 186,821 people on the Live Register.
Intreo Employment Services Officers and job coaches work with jobseekers to support them into jobs. Dedicated Employer Relations Officers work with employers to help meet their recruitment needs. Since the beginning of the year, 118 recruitment events have taken place, including 23 job fairs. These include some specific events for the hospitality and construction sectors. The Department has a dedicated team working under Government’s Housing For All, Future Building Initiative to specifically recruit to construction jobs, from jobseekers in Ireland and abroad.
The Department also has a number of schemes to encourage employers to provide work experience and recruit directly from persons on the Live Register. Schemes include the Work Placement Experience Programme and JobsPlus.
My Department also provides an online jobs portal Jobsireland to enable employers to advertise their job vacancies and for jobseekers to apply for jobs. I encourage all employers with vacancies and anyone looking for work to register on this website. This is in addition to engaging with their local Intreo Office and availing of the full range of services they, along with contracted service providers, have available to assist both employers and jobseekers.