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Minister Burton welcomes continuing fall in unemployment rate

Urges jobseekers and employers to avail of Government employment supports

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., has today welcomed the latest Live Register figures from the Central Statistics Office which show the unemployment rate continuing to fall.

There were 398,813 people signing on the Live Register in June, a decrease of 36,544, or 8.4%, on the same month in 2013.

The standardised unemployment rate has fallen from a crisis peak of 15.1% to 11.6% now.

Minister Burton said: “Month by month through the Pathways to Work strategy to reduce unemployment, we are continuing to help people back to work, as demonstrated again by today’s figures. These are welcome and very encouraging, but there remain far too many people on the Live Register and it’s clear we have much more to do to resolve this problem.

“Through the Pathways strategy overseen by my Department, and the Action Plan for Jobs overseen by Minister Richard Bruton, the Government has introduced a range of work, training and education programmes as well as other important services and supports for jobseekers to help them return to employment.

“The Skills to Work campaign, developed by the Department of Education with assistance from the Department of Social Protection, is a significant initiative in this context. Skills to Work brings together key Government initiatives introduced since 2011 to support jobseekers access the training and work experience they need and to help and encourage businesses employ people currently on the Live Register.

“The main aim of Skills to Work is to make it easier for both jobseekers and employers to easily access information on the full range of options available to them. An easy-to-use online tool has been developed - - to provide that access. This online tool directs jobseekers to information on what education, re-skilling or work experience options are available to them in areas of new and emerging employment opportunities. It’s just one of many such Government services on the employment front and I would encourage jobseekers and employers alike to visit and see the options available.”

Editors’ Notes:

The five programmes which fall under the Skills to Work initiative are:


Springboard provides free, part-time and flexible higher education reskilling courses at certificate, degree and masters level. It is open to unemployed and previously employed people who are actively seeking employment.

Springboard provides education opportunities in areas where there are skills shortages, such as ICT and entrepreneurship. More than 18,000 jobseekers have taken up a Springboard place (including the ICT Skills Conversion Courses) since 2011 and a further round of places for 2014 will be offered shortly.

Further information can be found at


Co-financed by the EU, MOMENTUM funds the provision of free training projects to allow the long-term unemployed gain skills and access work opportunities in identified growth sectors. The categories where projects are funded include Construction, ICT, Transport, Distribution and Logistics, Tourism, Financial Services and Manufacturing (technology).

Over 6,500 places were made available through Momentum in 2013 and a further round of this programme will be launched this year. Further information on how to apply and the courses available can be found at


JobBridge assists individuals in breaking the cycle where they are unable to get a job without experience. JobBridge provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months. The scheme is open to unemployed people at all education and skills levels who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments or are signing on for credits for at least 3 of the last 6 months (78 days). Interns receive an allowance of €50 per week on top of their existing social welfare entitlement. This is payable for the period of their internship.

Further information is available at


Skillnets supports the training needs of Irish businesses, employees and job-seekers through up to 60 training networks nationwide across a range of sectors and regions. Skillnets actively supports and works with businesses in Ireland to address their current and future skills needs. Up to 8,000 Skillnets places are offered to jobseekers annually across a diverse range of education and training programmes and work placement in areas of employment potential.

Find a training course:


JobsPlus is an employer incentive scheme which encourages and rewards employers who offer full-time jobs to long-term unemployed people. Monthly cash payments are made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs. There are two levels of cash incentives: a payment of €10,000 over two years to an employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than two years, and a payment of €7,500 over two years for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 months but less than 24 months. See