Updated: 08/10/12 : 09:13:35Printable Version
On Wednesday 26th September a Sligo Chamber delegation met with Joan Burton TD, Minister for Social Protection to discuss government policy on labour market activation and in particular the launch of the Pathways to Work Programme which is a radical new plan to get people back to work.
With unemployment hovering at just under 15% and the long term unemployment rate approaching 60% the single biggest challenge facing the government is how to get people back to work. Minister Burton stated that this programme will engage with every unemployed person to make sure that their first day out of work is also their first step on the pathway back to work. No-one who loses his/her job will be allowed to drift, without support, into long-term unemployment.”
President Linda Moffitt of Sligo Chamber welcomed The Pathways to Work initiative, particularly as Sligo is one of the first offices to adopt this programme which will provide a more streamlined approach to assisting people back into the workforce, however she requested the Minister to ensure that the quality of the training is of the standard required and that intervention takes place at the earliest possible opportunity with the unemployed person.
In relation to the proposals to transfer sick pay costs for the first 2-4 weeks to employers President Linda Moffitt highlighted the negative consequences of the proposal to the Minister. She said “many businesses are already struggling to stay afloat and placing this additional financial burden on them could be the final nail in the coffin and urged that the Department of Social Protection re-think this issue”.
Photo (L-R) Mary Harty, Sligo Chamber, Niall Murray, Collins McNicholas Sligo, President Linda Moffitt, Sligo Chamber, Joan Burton TD, Minister for Social Protection and Senator Susan O’Keeffe.