Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs and Social Protection John Brady TD has said that the findings of his JobPath Report leave the Government with no option other than to abolish the JobPath scheme immediately.
Speaking at the launch of the JobPath Report, Teachta Brady said:
“JobPath has been a total nightmare for thousands of people across the State. It has caused huge distress and worry for many, both financially and mentally. The findings of this report launched today are alarming and they signal exactly what happens when a privatisation agenda is pursued within job activation.
“This report provides ample evidence for JobPath to be scrapped. Every shred of evidence in this report comes directly from those engaging with JobPath. They are the experts on JobPath. This report is about giving them a voice.
“JobPath providers Turas Nua and Seetec have strayed away from what they were initially set up to do – engage the long term unemployed. Both private companies are hounding people who are working part-time and substitute teachers who are subbing in schools week to week. While Minister Doherty insisted only a few weeks ago in the Dáil chamber that this was not happening, the proof that it is lies in this report.
“Both the training of the personal advisors employed by Turas Nua and Seetec and the training provided to participants by these personal advisors is questionable. Much of the so-called training for participants consists of sitting in front of a computer.
“JobPath’s emergence has been damaging to other schemes such as Community Employment and the Local Employment Service and representatives from both engaged with us as to the challenges they have faced in this report.
“This report also includes detailed insight from a former Personal Advisor with Turas Nua who contacted us. She talks about the invitations to engage with JobPath as more of a threat, referrals to JobPath chosen as a form of punishment for some, the severe lack of training for personal advisors, and the appalling treatment of participants.
“The findings of this report are clear, JobPath is beyond repair. Private companies are only interested in profit; they are not interested in the well-being of participants. We have no idea as to how much of taxpayers’ money is being handed over to these companies, who are paid up to four separate occasions per participant. Our numerous requests for these figures are denied due to commercial sensitivity.
“Job activation should be about encouraging jobseekers, and assisting them to find work. JobPath is not doing this and it must be abolished.”