Five years into Ireland's unemployment crisis the nature of our policy response has been slow. In general attention has been focused on employment creation, a worthy and necessary goal, but with limited attention on the nature of the unemployment crisis and the likely long-term impediments to resolving it.
This paper focuses on the role of active labour market policies (ALMPs) and in particular the role of the largest ALMP Community Employment (CE).
It proposes a restructuring of that programme, into two streams, which would retain the longstanding dual role of CE: helping the long-term unemployed return to the active labour market and the provision of local services. Such an approach would offer a more sustainable structure for CE and ensure than it continues to target those furthest from the active labour market.