Saturday 25 November 2017

Need to review Turas Nua job scheme highlighted

By Esther Hayden

A call for a review of the Turas Nua job activation scheme was passed at last Monday's meeting of Wexford County Council.

Cllr Michael Sheehan laid down a notion of motion at the meeting calling for the a review of the scheme 'to be more accommodating to allow participants to enrol in and continue on courses/programmes training that will lead to employment in their chosen field'.

Cllr Sheehan said: 'Turas Nua is a relatively new scheme where names are forwarded to the private agency from Social Protection with the aim of working with candidates to develop their skills to ultimately securing suitable employment.

'My concern is that we have officials in Social Protection who are better at doing this work and that once a person is on the books of Turas Nua, they are prohibited from doing anything else for at least one year. This stops people's progression and commands the person to engage with Turas Nua or face a cut in their Welfare payment.

'People who have enrolled or applied to CE schemes, VTOS or academic programmes whose start date is after contact from Turas Nua could be prohibited from doing them. It is actually impeding people from gaining the necessary skills and training they need to progress to employment. Instead of hands on experience, on the job training, certification and up-skilling, people are forced to meet with an advisor and follow an agreed path to some agreed outcome.

'I can understand the logic of Turas Nua, what I want is a more flexible approach to dealing with people; only a review of the operational guidelines would allow tweaking of the programme.

'What we are calling for, is a more relaxed approach that would engage with job seekers to ensure that they are in search of employment but in a way that does not prevent them from developing their skills and ambitions in the process.

'Given someone's age, education, experience and qualifications, we need to be flexible and understand that there is more than one route to employment and Turas Nua shouldn't be dogmatic about how someone gets there.'

He was supported by Cllr Ger Carthy who said that a lot of village schemes are losing out because people on Turas Nua can't take up a community employment scheme.

Wexford People

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