Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Dáil Éireann Debate
[Deputy Joan Burton: ] I noted earlier that the Garda Síochána hosted 13 interns, of whom eight were assigned to duties in the Garda vetting unit. Six of the latter have completed their internships and two are on placement. My Department has received assurances from the Department of Justice and Equality that the interns were not involved in conducting checks on vetting applicants nor had they access to these data. They were engaged solely in a clerical capacity.
The Deputy asked whether such work experience is valuable, whether in the public or private sector. The Indecon survey shows that more than 50% of people who completed JobBridge internships went on to further work. In respect of the public sector, which faces a difficulty with the embargo, over 40% of people who took on internships in public bodies were placed subsequently in employment. By working in quality internships these mostly younger people got references and work experience, which are very valuable in helping them to find subsequent employment. I cannot see why the Deputy and Sinn Féin are so opposed to young people being assisted in getting work, particularly young graduates who have just come out of college and find it difficult in today's jobs market to find a work placement because they have no previous work experience. The internship gives them work experience.
Acting Chairman (Deputy Peter Mathews): I remind Deputies and the Minister that we have a programme to complete which involves five priority questions in 30 minutes. We are now well over the time allotted to these questions. We either conduct this session in accordance with the rules and protocols or it becomes a free-for-all. What do Members want? Please help me to do my job.
Community Welfare Services
125. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Social Protection if the community welfare offices (details supplied) in County Dublin are being closed and staff services being centralised to Parnell Road and Bishops Square, social welfare offices; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4270/13]
Deputy Joan Burton: The Department is in the process of major organisational change following the transfer of responsibility for community welfare services and FÁS employment and community employment services. We have taken approximately 1,000 community welfare service staff and 700 FÁS staff into the Department.
The Department is committed to developing and implementing a case management approach across the full range of its services, with a focus on working with the person rather than the scheme. In implementing this challenging programme of change, the objective is to ensure that all services provided are co-ordinated and support customers and clients of the Department through the development of improved processes and the concentration of staff and resources in integrated units. Skilled and knowledgeable case managers will work with individuals in need to ensure that they not only receive the appropriate income supports but are also helped to find a way in which they can participate to the fullest extent possible in their community, economy and workforce.
This is the context in which the services provided in Dublin 12 are being reviewed. The offices referred to by this question are located in Curlew Road Health Centre, Drimnagh, Dublin 12; Cashel Road Health Centre, Crumlin, Dublin 12; and Parnell Road Health Centre, Dublin 12. The hours during which the services are provided are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. It is also important to note that the review is ongoing and that a final decision has not yet been made on the location and nature of services to be provided. I assure the Deputy that the overall priority is better customer service and that members of the public and public representatives will be fully informed about the changes being proposed and consultation will take place.
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