Government – Jobs initiative explained
On the 10th May 2011 the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. announced in the Dáil a set of measures to stimulate growth in employment. These measures include:
- PRSI Rate
A reduction of 50% in the lower rate of PRSI paid by employers where the jobs pay up to €356 per week. While this does not affect students by itself, the Government believes that such a reduction will make it easier for employers to take on more staff, particularly in sectors where students tend to make up a large percentage of staff, such as restaurants, bars etc.
- Training Courses
The Government shall provide an additional 6,000 specific skills training courses of varying lengths, targeted at those who were formerly employed in sectors where there has been large scale job losses such as construction to be delivered by FÁS and placed at NFQ levels four, five and six. The Government also intends to provide 3,000 more Back to Education Initiative places, mainly at NFQ levels one to fours, but some at five and six, which will be targeted at adults who currently have not completed the Leaving Certificate.
One thousand additional PLC Courses (NFQ levels five and six) will be created in colleges across the country with places will be targeted at students completing their leaving cert and adults returning to education. The Third Level/Springboard Programme will be augmented with 5,900 further places, at NFQ levels six and over, again targeted at those who were formerly employed in sectors where there has been large scale job losses such as construction
- National Internship Scheme
The Government will also establish a new National Internship Scheme providing 5,000 work experience placements in the private, public and voluntary sectors. These internships will last for between nine and six moths and participants will receive an additional fifty euros per week on top of their social welfare entitlements.
- Employment Control Framework
For the last number of years there has been a recruitment embargo in place across the public sector prohibiting any state body to engage new staff without the express consent from the Department of Finance. Even where colleges had income from outside sources specially to create researcher posts they were not generally allowed to do so. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D. will announce tomorrow a relaxation of this embargo allowing colleges and other state entities to take on additional staff where recurrent funding is in place to pay for the full economic cost of the post, including pensions etc.