Report from Public Accounts Committee exposes ‘disastrous’ JobPath scheme – Matt Carthy TD
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has said that the findings of the report published by the Public Accounts Committee report on the JobPath scheme proves that privatisation of community employment services undermines their quality.
Carthy, who is a member of PAC, said that the all-party report concludes that the JobPath model has failed to deliver sustainable, quality employment for jobseekers and has not delivered value for money for the taxpayer. The report, he said, should serve as a warning to the government that they must abandon plans to privatise community Local Employment Services and Jobs Clubs.
Deputy Carthy said:
“It is clear that the decision by Fine Gael privatise employment services through JobPath has been a disaster. This approach has only served to hollow out services and undermines the quality of supports for people who need the services.
“The Public Accounts Committee’s report is very clear on the poor record of JobPath. 283,826 people used the service, with only 22,000 securing a sustainable job. That is a success rate of just 7.7%. In total, €247m was spent on JobPath, which means each job sourced cost the state €11,227.
“All of these came with a human impact, particularly for those people who felt forced to take up jobs in sectors that were totally unsuitable for them just to meet the JobPath system’s requirements.
“Government must learn from the failure of JobPath and ensure that future attempts to privatise our community employment services do not proceed. Our communities deserve better than these flawed, box ticking exercises.
“Lessons must be learnt from this disastrous scheme. Unfortunately, the Government ignore the reality staring them in the face. They have been repeatedly warned of the ineffectiveness of the Scheme and the blatant waste of taxpayers’ money since 2015.
“In 2019, a Sinn Féin Motion was passed in the Dáil calling for an immediate end to referrals to JobPath and for resources to instead be directed at ramping up community based, not-for-profit employment services, something the Government now intend to erode even further by tendering out Local Employment Services and Job Clubs.
“Government failed to listen and now the Public Accounts Committee have confirmed that this scheme did not represent value for money.
“Last week the Dáil approved another Sinn Féin motion calling for a halt to the tendering process that will endanger our existing community, not for profit Local Employment Services. Minister Heather Humphreys has indicated that she will ignore this resolution.
“If the Minister and government refuse to change tact then it is highly probable that in a short number of years they will be proven to have failed taxpayers and jobseekers once again.”