Sinn Féin TD for Kerry, Pa Daly, called on the government to reconsider its plans for the new regional employment service.
Teachta Daly said:
“I support the criticisms of the North, East and West Kerry Development (NEWKD) and the South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) against the government’s proposal to replace their employment services.
“Replacing these organizations with a privatized ‘tender’ model could endanger programs such as the Community Activation Program for Social Inclusion (SICAP) and Community Employment Programs (CE) which do such a good job in the county.
“Privatization does not work in health or housing, and it will not work here. This ideological decision and the rules involved are very difficult to understand from a practical point of view.
“This will result in job losses at NEWKD and SKDP who helped thousands of Kerry people after the financial crash and continue to advance others towards employment. Residents of North, South, East and West Kerry will be deprived of walk-in access, a person-centered and community-based employment service replaced by a profit-driven process.
“The new system will depend on credentials from the Ministry of Social Protection, which in the past failed to provide sufficient numbers to the employment services.”