Major reforms to Community Employment, Tús and the Rural Social Scheme will extend eligibility criteria for participants and provide additional flexibility to local supervisors when it comes to recruitment.

That’s according to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey who said that community employment schemes support a range of vital local services in Clare such as childcare, meals on wheels, the maintenance and upkeep of local amenities and other vital work in our communities.

“For the Rural Social Scheme, the six-year time limit will be removed. Eligibility for Tús is now extended to persons in receipt of disability payments. Flexibility for CE schemes will allow for direct recruiting of eligible candidates to fill 30 per cent of places.

“The Clare Intreo centre will also benefit with an increase in the number of referrals to CE. Schemes will be required to offer places to at least 60 per cent of candidates.

“The application process for the ex-gratia payment for CE supervisors and assistant supervisors is now open. The Department of Rural and Community Development will contact supervisors and assistant supervisors who may have an immediate entitlement inviting them to apply for this payment.

“Having seen how these schemes have benefitted communities all over Clare, I am a strong advocate of programmes like CE, Tús and the Rural Social Scheme. These changes will support these schemes by strengthening the recruitment process and the delivery of essential local services,” Deputy Carey added.