The Community Employment (CE) programme is designed to help people who are long-term unemployed (or otherwise disadvantaged) to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities.
Participants can take up other part time work during their CE placement.
The work is community-based.
The training provided through CE is delivered within a Quality Assurance framework. See details of recognised courses on www.qqi.ie that can be achieved and that lead to major awards on the National Framework of Qualifications.
When a person’s CE placement ends, the person is encouraged to seek a job elsewhere using the skills, experience and training gained while participating on the CE scheme.
The duration of a CE placement is for 12 months with some exceptions.
The general qualifying age for CE is 21 years.
In general, you must also be getting one of the following payments for at least 12 months:
Some exceptions exist and it is best to speak to a member of staff in your local Intreo Centre for more information about the qualifying criteria.
In general, all placements are for one year only, but if a CE participant is undertaking training to achieve a major award, the participant's time can be extended by up to two years to allow him or her to complete the training which will enhance his or her overall employment prospects. Eligible people over 55 years of age can remain on CE for three years without having to meet the requirement that they are training for a major award.
Payments are made in the form of a wage. Participant wage rates are determined by the underlying social welfare entitlement.
The minimum weekly payment (based on 19.5 hours worked) is €225.50 per week.
If the Social Welfare Payment you were in receipt of before starting a CE scheme is more than €203 per week, you will receive the same amount as your Social Welfare Payment plus €22.50 per week.
If the Social Welfare Payment you were in receipt of before starting a CE scheme is less than or equal to €203 per week, you will receive a payment of €225.50 per week.
You may retain any extra benefits, provided you are still eligible.
Jobs are advertised on national job and employment websites and local media, for example www.jobsireland.ie.
Alternatively, you can speak to a member of staff in your local Intreo Office in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Voluntary organisations and public bodies may sponsor CE projects that are for community and public benefit. They should contact their local Intreo Centre for more information.