NEW FIGURES FROM the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that more than 57,000 people are now taking part in government back-to-work programmes.
The figures show a 15 per cent increase in numbers taking part in the schemes for the long term unemployed (over 12 months) such as JobBridge, community employment schemes and FAS training programmes.
Some 12,217 long term unemployed people were registered for the back to work allowance schemes and short-term enterprise allowance schemes in August 2012, an increase of around 500 from the same month last year.
There has also been an increase of over 7,000 in people taking part in back to education schemes in August compared to the same month last year.
The Department of Social Protection said the schemes will continue to be monitored in order to ensure that they continue to meet the objectives.
It said the next step in the government’s plan is to build on this progress with the wider economic reforms needed to accelerate jobs growth and get the country working again.
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) yesterday criticised the government over the CSO figures which also revealed Ireland’s unemployment rate remained at 14.8 per cent with long-term unemployment standing at 45 per cent of the total.
Chief Executive of ISME, Mark Fielding, said “the numbers speak for themselves – this government is clearly failing in its efforts to tackle the jobs crisis, and no amount of long-fingered promises of multinational jobs tomorrow will satisfy the crying need for local jobs today.”