“Rehab welcomes this new initiative and the opportunities it brings to ensure that people who find themselves out of work or who are distant from the labour market will receive the targeted support and intervention that they need to get into, or back into, work. It is important to have a co-ordinated approach with all Government agencies working together to achieve the same goal, with the support of the private sector. The establishment of one stop shops where case workers assess people’s needs, support them to overcome barriers to employment, and which set them on the right path to accessing the skills that they need to enter or re-enter the workforce will ensure that they are job ready, have ambition and have the chance to build lasting careers, and is essential to ensuring the best use of limited resources.”
“As a nation, Ireland spends billions every year on training and this must deliver value for money and must provide flexible relevant training which really meets the needs of both jobseekers and employers. We also have a huge national challenge in terms of unemployment – for example, youth unemployment now stands at 30 per cent. Recent reports have delivered less than favourable results for some existing training providers. An effective mix of public and private service providers could deliver real options for people, motivating them to take up training or education because they will gain work-related skills which will bring them closer to the labour market.
“There is huge potential to use the skills and experience available in the training and skills sector to deliver relevant effective training which will help people back into work either in employment or self-employment or support them to progression to further education. Crucially, it is important to motivate people and ensure that they are skilled and ready to take up opportunities.
“Significantly, positive results were achieved in the 2010-2011 Labour Market Activation Fund which, through a competitive tendering process, provided support to nearly 7,000 people to gain new skills to return to employment or educational opportunities.” An evaluation carried out by PA Consulting found that Rehab’s JobFit programme which delivered the single largest number of places under the programme had extremely positive results, with 2,215 participants benefitting, 650 people progressing to employment and 522 moving on to further or higher education – a rate of 53%. The programme was jointly delivered by Rehab Group companies TBG Learning and National Learning Network.
“The findings of the Review of the Labour Market Activation Fund should inform the future funding of training in Ireland to ensure a diverse range of service providers are engaged to provide tailored training which meets the needs of every person in Ireland who is unemployed, in line with Ireland’s future skills requirements.”
“It is important that targeted support is available which recognises that individuals have different needs when it comes to employment supports. People with disabilities, people with mental health difficulties and even people who are long-term unemployed require additional supports to help them to access training and employment. More than 90% of the people completing training with National Learning Network progress to employment, further training, education, or other progression. This kind of expert help will be needed to support people to move forward,” Ms Kerins concluded.