Éamon Ó Cuív, TD, Minister for Social Protection welcomed the transfer of staff of the Community Welfare Service from the HSE to the Department of Social Protection from this week.. He also confirmed that he has assumed responsibility for the policy direction and funding of the employment services and community employment services programmes of FÁS from his colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD today.
Minister Ó Cuív said this development marks another important milestone in the process to radically realign the services provided to jobseekers ranging from income support to assistance to get back in to employment.
“While FÁS will continue to provide these services on my behalf at this stage, I am fully confident that all the practical arrangements will be completed during the coming year for the full integration of these services in my Department. This will enable one of the most radical realignments of social welfare provision in the history of the State.”
The Minister confirmed that he had signed the Commencement Order bringing the relevant provisions of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions ) Act 2010 into effect from 1 January 2011. This Act provides for the transfer of responsibility for the employment services and community employment services programmes of FÁS from the Department of Education and Skills to the Department of Social Protection. The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2010 which was enacted before Christmas, provides for the integration of FÁS staff with the Department of Social Protection and this integration programme will be implemented over the year ahead.