Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Dara Calleary TD has described the rise in the number of women on the live register for over a year as a cause of concern which needs a dedicated government response. There are now 56,312 women out of work for over 12 months.
Deputy Calleary commented, “At a time when all other categories are showing declines it is disappointing that unemployment in this category is going in the wrong direction.
“The European Commission previously identified the high cost of childcare and the loss of secondary benefits such as medical cards and rent supplement as significant barriers to employment in this country. This is likely to be a particularly acute issue for many women and needs to be tackled so that no one is penalised for taking up a job that becomes available. In addition the Family Income Supplement scheme needs to be reformed so that it supports people getting back in to the workplace.
“The number of people on activation schemes is now at an all-time high of 86,160. We need to study more closely where people who come through these schemes subsequently end up to assess if they are effective. The OECD has proposed that the Government “prioritise the engagement with long-term jobseekers and increase the number of caseworkers supporting them, through internal redeployment”. This does not appear to have happened to date with many activation schemes unfocused in nature and more concerned with massaging the jobless total than actually providing meaningful skills to help people find employment”.