The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The work opportunities are to benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas.
The Tús initiative is managed by local development companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta for the Department of Social Protection, which has overall responsibility for the scheme. Participants work 19 ½ hours a week and the placement lasts 12 months.
All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme is community-based.
The types of projects eligible for the scheme may include:
environmental services (for example, conservation and maintenance of national walkways)
caring services (for example, childcare, care of older people)
general community services (for example, newsletters or information provision for communities)
heritage and cultural services (for example, local heritage project)
How to qualify
To qualify for the Tús scheme, you must:
have been continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and "signing on" on a full-time basis
have been receiving a jobseeker's payment (Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance) from the department for at least 12 months
be currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance
Unemployed people who are eligible for the scheme will be identified and contacted by their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office
and offered the opportunity to participate in the scheme. Since May 2015, some Tús places can be filled through self-referral by potential participants.
If you agree to participate in the Tús scheme you will be referred to your local development company or Údarás na Gaeltachta, where you will be recruited for a suitable placement when it becomes available.
As there are only limited places available on the scheme, not all eligible unemployed people will be contacted.
Rates of payment
The minimum weekly payment for participants (based on 19.5 hours worked) is €225.50.
If the actual Jobseeker’s Allowance you were getting (including increases for dependants) was €198 a week or less, then you will get the minimum Tús weekly rate of €225.50 (that is €203 plus €22.50).
If your actual weekly Jobseeker’s Allowance (including any increases for dependants) was €198.01 or more, then you will get the equivalent rate plus €22.50 (there are some exceptions to this).
Participants will retain any extra benefits and the medical card, provided they are still eligible.