17th July 2012
The Department of Social Protection’s has agreed to partially restore material and training funding to Community Employment (CE) schemes following a campaign led by IMPACT and other trade unions. At a meeting last week, the department confirmed to union representatives that the total materials and training budget for 2012 will be €20.5 million, a substantial increase of €9.5 million over the allocation announced in the budget last December.
Secretary of IMPACT’s Community Employment Supervisors’ branch Paddy Quinn welcomed the breakthrough, which he attributed to a union campaign which involved meetings with politicians, negotiations with officials, and a lobby of TDs by CE supervisors and participants.
“This lessens the risk of any CE scheme closing this year, which is a great outcome. But I’d be happier if I knew we were not going to be in the same situation following the next budget in December. The campaign to maintain CE schemes, which are a vital value-for-money service both to unemployed people and the communities in which the live, will continue,” he said.