Ahead of the anniversary of Jobpath in Donegal this Friday, Deputy Thomas Pringle has called for the programme to be abolished claiming recent figures from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection suggest its impact on employment is not worth the money the State puts into it.

Deputy Pringle raised the issue with the Minister for Social Protection as a Parliamentary Question asking for the total percentage of Jobpath applicants that gained employment. In the reply figures were sent to the Deputy going back to 2015 when Jobpath was first established.

“The figures make for interesting reading” says Pringle. “In terms of providing full-time employment there’s not much difference in the chances of someone getting full-time work through Jobpath or on their own accord.  In fact more recent figures for 2016 show that Jobpath’s impact only helped a further 2% of individuals gain full-time employment”.

“In terms of helping individuals gain part-time work Jobpath figures do improve however, the State must step in to support part-time workers anyway including the Family Income Supplement and part-time Jobseekers’ Benefit and Allowance so the question must be asked why are we continuing to pay a private company.

“The answer can only be that the State’s ambition to privatise Government services and the Government is blinded by the notion that private services are more efficient when clearly the figures show this is not the case,” continues Pringle.

“It’s worth considering what €58.5m can get in a county like Donegal. For example, it could provide 500 houses, or 5 or 6 schools, or reinstate social welfare income supports nationally for part- time workers back to pre- 2012 levels taking out the need for private companies in the first place,” concludes Pringle.

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