Clane volunteers step in to cut grass as town loses Tus workers

Issue raised in Dáil

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

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henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Clane volunteers step in to cut grass as town loses Tus workers

Cllr Padraig McEvoy

Questions in Dail recently helped to highlight the fact that Clane Community Council no longer has any workers under the TUS community employment scheme.

The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme which provides working opportunities for unemployed people.

For a few months now, there have been zero workers on a scheme which once employed four people.

Cllr Padraig McEvoy confirmed the current status this week.

He and a number of other volunteers have now taken one of the main task, grass cutting in the town’s public areas, in the absence of the TUS crew.

A number of Clane TUS staff spoke to the Leader about their wish to continue on the scheme last year but left for other work.

The TUS scheme is being left short due to another employment scheme.

READ MORE: 'Please allow us to keep working for Clane', say Community Employment Scheme members

Recently, Kildare North TD Frank O’Rourke, called on the Government to urgently address shortcomings with the the Tús scheme in particular. One option available to the Government, he said, is to lift the mandatory restriction in place which prevents people from participating in the scheme for more than one year.

He said the Tús initiative is an important scheme which allows unemployed people to get work experience in a community based setting.

A problem is that a person is only allowed participate on the scheme for a period of one year.

However, recently, Minister Leo Varadkar told the Dail recently that the twelve-month placement reflects a number of inter-related issues.

“These include the need to ensure that the places on the scheme are open to the maximum number of people on the Live Register. It also ensures that weaknesses identified in other work programmes resulting from longer duration placements are not replicated. Furthermore, the twelve-month term ensures that the scheme fits with the objectives set out in the Government’s activation policies, including Pathways to Work. The 12 month placement period on Tús is considered to be optimal in meeting the scheme’s objectives and I have no plans to change it.”