By Gerard Walker, Future Jobs-Skills-Work-Insights
The Government's July Jobs Stimulus is aimed at helping businesses to protect jobs and create new jobs, supporting people without jobs, especially young people, building confidence and solidarity in consumers and communities and starting to prepare for a greener, more sustainable economy in the future. The stimulus package includes tax, expenditure and credit supports. Of particular interest to Learning & Development professionals is a €200 million investment in training and education, skills development, work placement schemes, recruitment subsidies, and job search and assistance measures, to help those who have lost their jobs find a new one, retrain, or develop new skills, in particular for emerging growth sectors.
These measures include:
Supporting People without Jobs, especially Young People
• 16,000 additional places in Higher Education delivered through a variety of measures including Skillnet, Springboard+ and the Human Capital Initiative, as well as additional undergraduate and postgraduate provision in the Higher Educational Institutions.
• A new 'Skills to Compete' programme at NFQ Levels 4 to 6 with 19,000 Further Education and Training places to support people develop skills and attain qualifications for emerging growth sectors and occupations.
• A new Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme providing a €2,000 payment to support employers to take on new apprenticeships in 2020.
• A new Retrofit Skills Training Initiative to support a future expansion of the National Retrofitting Programme.
• Increased capacity of the Public Employment Service to support jobseekers through job search advice and assistance through contracted Job Clubs, JobPath and Local Employment Services.
• 8,000 Job Plus Scheme recruitment subsidies of up to €7,500 over two years for employers to hire persons under 30 years on the Live Register or Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
• 10,000 places on work placement and experience schemes for those unemployed over six months.
• 12,500 additional places funded through the Training Support Grant for short-term skills training for individual jobseekers to help them avail of identified work opportunities.
• An extension of the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance and Back To Education Allowance to people currently in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
• An additional 3,000 additional places funded on State Employment schemes such as Community Employment and Tús.
Forthcoming National Economic Plan
The Government highlight that the July Jobs Stimulus is not the last action that will needed. Further steps will be taken within Budget 2021 in October this year accompanied by a National Economic Plan, charting Ireland’s long-term jobs recovery. The Government highlight that the move to remote working, online trading, and digital services, have accelerated during the pandemic. This will be a permanent feature of the economy which we must prepare for now. Most important of all, businesses and workers will need to continue to transition successfully to the green economy of the future, which will have significant implications for all sectors of Irish society and economy. The forthcoming National Economic Plan will look to seize the opportunities that the green and digital transition will bring including the need to take a transformative approach to skills, training, and lifelong learning.