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Minister Burton visits National Ploughing Championships

Intreo – new approach and better services for jobseekers and employers

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, today (25th September 2013) attended the National Ploughing Championship and visited the Department of Social Protection’s stand which is providing information about the Department’s schemes and services, including Intreo – the integrated employment and support service provided by the Department of Social Protection.

Minister Burton, explaining Intreo, said: “Welfare offices no longer simply manage weekly payments for unemployed people.  The new Intreo Centres provide a single point of contact for all employment and income supports and ensure that jobseekers get not just the income supports they need but also employment supports to help them on the path back to work.”

Intreo provides a personalised service, based on the person’s individual needs, including advice on education, training and personal development opportunities, job search assistance as well as information on, and access to, a range of income supports. 

A number of elements are key to the Intreo service. These include:

• Activation measures including client profiling, early group engagement and regular one-to-one meetings with Case Officers of the Department which focus on employment supports and monitoring of each client’s progress

• Integrated decision-making process leading to quicker decisions

• Integrated reception providing a one-stop shop incorporating all strands of the Department’s employment and income support services

• An emphasis on the mutual commitments between the service and its clients

• Enhanced employer engagement at national and local level maximising access to job opportunities and potential employees.

The support provided by Intreo is customised to each person’s skills, experience and qualifications. A personal progression plan is devised and agreed between the client and their Case Officer.   The service supports jobseekers in their own efforts to find work and to undertake training and development programmes to maximise their access to opportunities. The Minister continued: “As part of their interaction with the service, each jobseeker is expected to engage fully with the services offered by the Department under agreed mutual commitments to ensure that all parties understand that with rights [to income support] come responsibilities [to engage].”

The Department offers a suite of services that can assist employers in recruiting staff from the register of people who are unemployed.

These include:

· Providing employment support and advice at no cost to the employer, giving access to skilled, job ready candidates ( 

· An internship scheme – JobBridge

· Financial supports for recruiting long-term unemployed people –JobsPlus

· In-work supports to employees – Part-time Job Incentive scheme and Family Income Supplement

· Work place supports and  including wage subsides and grants, to assist employees with disabilities.

Minister Burton commented: “The level of interest in the JobsPlus incentive since its launch just over 11 weeks ago is very encouraging; 1,100 employers have been approved under the incentive to proceed with recruitment for vacancies in their companies and to date over 370 new full time jobs have been supported under JobsPlus.  Over 2,100 jobseekers have also applied to check their eligibility as a prospective employee under JobsPlus.

“Meanwhile, the number of internships taken up under JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, has now passed 20,000.  The independent evaluation of the scheme conducted by Indecon Economic Consultants shows that 61% of JobBridge participants secure employment within five months of completing their internships – this progression rate is one of the best outcomes for such a scheme anywhere in Europe. The same evaluation found that 96% of host organisations would recommend JobBridge to another employer, while 89% of interns stated that JobBridge had given them new skills.”

Note for editors:

The JobsPlus incentive encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to people who are long-term unemployed. The scheme provides two levels of incentive - a payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months; and €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. The new incentive is payable monthly in arrears.

JobBridge – The National Internship Scheme helps jobseekers gain work experience and acquire new skills through internship opportunities. Since the scheme commenced in June 2011, more than 20,000 people and over 9,000 companies have participated in the scheme. An independent evaluation by Indecon Economic Consultants, which was published in May, showed that 61% of interns who completed their placements subsequently progressed to paid employment and 96% of host organisations would recommend JobBridge to another employer.

Contact details

· The location of Intreo Centres and the Department’s other offices is available at

· To advertise a job vacancy on, telephone the National Contact Centre at Freephone 1800 611 116. This is a free service.

· To find candidates to fill job vacancies, employers should contact their local Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Local Office or Employment Services Office. The locations of these are set out on

· Information in relation to JobBridge is available at and

· Information about the JobsPlus scheme is available at