Sligo-Letrim TD Eamon Scanlon has raised concerns with the Jobpath scheme, retention numbers in the scheme, and the alternatives available to constituents whose training or employment needs cannot be met through the scheme.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Scanlon said “It is very concerning that only 9% of those on Jobpath are employed one year later. There is no value for money for the taxpayer or the participant in the scheme.

“We have talked about this matter many times in the Dáil. I believe it is time for a change. The Minister, Deputy Doherty, referred to 600 people administrating the Jobpath scheme. The only definite jobs here are those of the 600 people employed to provide the Jobpath services. I am sure they are committed and professional people but unfortunately the scheme is not working.

“The Minister must look at alternatives. In Sligo the Jobpath model will not fit everyone. Previous generations went and learned a trade, whether it was electrical, block laying, carpentry or plumbing. They went on to create jobs for themselves and a lot of work for many other people also. This is where the emphasis should be.

“We are aware of the great shortfall in the numbers of tradespeople. They will be needed because houses and factories must be built. There is, however, nobody to do the work and this is where the emphasis should be. Let these people train the younger people who are fit to do this work. Emphasise that aspect and leave the older people on their community employment schemes where they do work which they feel is valued in their local communities, and where people appreciate the work they do,” concluded Deputy Scanlon.