SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 23rd April) described the changes to the labour activation schemes, announced by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD last Friday (20th April) as a small step in the right direction. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Eddie Mullins said, “In the past, SIPTU representatives expressed great concern at the department's preference for a scheme like JobPath and the privatisation of employment services. We welcome the fact that jobseekers who are currently on JobPath can now also avail of a Tús, a Community Work Placement Initiative, or a Community Employment (CE) scheme. These jobseekers can now benefit from the experience and training provided by these “not for profit” community based schemes.” He added: “We all know that Tús suffered greatly because of the private contract the State has with JobPath. The numbers don’t lie. In 2017, TÚS had 6,997 participants nationwide while 69,000 clients were referred to JobPath. The Minister’s announcement is a small step in the right direction in an attempt to reverse that trend.”