Tuesday, 14 February 2012
CE Victory: Training & Material increase to €1,000
Thanks to CE supervisors, participants & supporters lobbying local politicians, protesting and organising with their union, the training and materials grant has been increased to €1,000 per participant.
Below is a letter from Oliver Egan (Department of Social Protection) stating that CE projects can avail of a €1,000 training & materials grant per participant. This payment is discretionary projects need to provide a clear and transparent demonstration of need for the level of funding.
This correspondence should assist CE projects when negotiating with their local DSP official when determining the 2012 budget.
03 February 2012
Department of Social Protection Review of Community Employment
To: Mary Donnelly, Principal Officer, Policy Unit
Joe McGuinness, Principal Officer, Operations West, Mid-West & Midlands
Mary Beggan, Principal Officer, Operations Dublin
Maria Hurley, Principal Officer, Operations South West & South West
Anne McGovern, Principal Officer, Operations North West & North East
I am writing to outline the position in relation to Community Employment (CE) schemes.
The Budget allocation for CE in 2012 is in excess of €315 million, which represents a very significant commitment to the sector.
Following the reductions in the CE training and materials grant announced in the Budget we commenced a review of the financial resources of individual schemes. To recap:
· All sponsors have been contacted by Department officers to brief them on the review;
· Officers have been instructed to meet with all sponsors to discuss their returns and deal with any queries that the sponsors may have;
· Sponsors have been issued with pro forma returns to assist them to complete the review. Completed returns will be used by sponsors and the officers responsible for the schemes to undertake the financial review.
It is essential that the review be completed promptly so that schemes can have certainty on their level of funding for 2012 and so that the Department has the time remaining in 2012 to achieve the level of savings agreed in the Budget. In this context it is very important that schemes and sponsors engage in a meaningful manner with the review process.
As you are aware, there is a considerable amount of variation across CE schemes in relation to the amount of training provided, materials required, overhead costs and the potential for sponsoring organisations to meet certain costs.
In recognition of this, a likely outcome of the review is that schemes will no longer receive a standard grant per participant but rather, will be provided with a specific level of support aimed at meeting their specific costs. The level of grant sought will have to be justified by the scheme sponsor and will be subject to verification and agreement by the Department on a case by case basis.
The baseline amount of the grant remains the €500 per participant announced in the Budget. But there is discretion to make an amount of up to €1,000 per participant available to schemes in respect of the training and materials grant this year, subject to individual schemes providing a clear and transparent demonstration of need for this level of funding. The onus is on sponsors to make the case for the appropriate level of the grant for their individual scheme.
While a reduced level of grant for training and materials is unavoidable in 2012, the reduction will vary according to the needs of individual project. In order to minimise the reduction in the training and materials grant, other means of achieving savings in CE must also be examined urgently:
· Meeting and funding training needs through other channels;
· Shared arrangements in respect of common overheads, such as audit and insurance needs.
Separately, the Community Employment Scheme is also included in a policy review of the overall range of employment support, activation and work schemes operated by the Department, to assess their contribution to the Department’s policy objective of supporting people of working age into employment.