‘This must not be allowed to happen’ – Kilkenny TD slams plans to overhaul Local Employment Services
Employment services in Kilkenny must be kept as community based enterprises, a local TD insists.
Carlow-Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion has urged the Government to remove the profit-focused approach for the new Local Employment Services (LES) and return to focusing on individual needs.
Deputy Funchion spoke out as it emerged the Government is seeking tenders from organisations interested in running the LES services in Kilkenny and across the country.
She argues that a profit-based LES services would push people towards roles that are unsuited to them or unsustainable in the locality, all in an effort to maximise revenues coming into LES provider.
The Carlow-Kilkenny TD said: “We are finally seeing a Request For Tender which encourages a ruthless shift to services’ which focus on profit over people.
“This is unacceptable and must not be allowed to happen. There had been much concern that the tender would threaten the community-based and not-for-profit ethos of existing services, which have been very successful and are well-regarded.
“The reality is much, much worse and is a serious cause for concern. The ‘payment by results’ model put forward in the tender tells us that the government are looking to implement employment services which focus on quantity over quality.”
Deputy Funchion said the new LES system must recognise the needs of the individual. And she added: “Forcing people into a cycle of jobs which are not suitable or sustainable is unacceptable.
“This is not the person-centred approach so successfully fostered by the Local Employment Services and will only result in a focus on profit-driven results which leaves those who need these services behind.
“People deserve quality employment services and we know that organisations already working in this area have experience, expertise and ethics at the heart of the work they do.
“Existing local employment services must be protected here in Kilkenny and across the state,” Deputy Funchion (pictured below) added.