New initiative aims to have 2.2 million employed by 2020

Wednesday 13 January 2016 23.22
The strategy also hopes to move 50,000 long-term unemployed people into work
The strategy also hopes to move 50,000 long-term unemployed people into work

The Government aims to have 2.2 million people at work by 2020, according to a new Pathways to Work initiative for the period 2016 - 2020.

The strategy also hopes to move 50,000 long-term unemployed people into work over the same period. 

The Pathways to Work initiative was originally launched in 2012 to help people on the Live Register into work training and education. 

Since the original programme was launched, the unemployment rate has fallen from 15.1% in 2012 to 8.8% now.

The Government hopes the Pathways to Work 2016 - 2020 strategy will continue to enhance employment, education and training services for job seekers.

Pathways to Work 2016 - 2020 will have six strands and 86 individual actions.

It provides for further reforms to make work pay, and increased engagement with employers to provide greater opportunities for those seeking work. 

The strategy will place an even stronger focus on the long-term unemployed, who will need particular assistance even amidst a strong jobs recovery - with a target of finding work for 50,000 in this group over the lifetime of the strategy. 

The strategy will also target other groups like lone parents, carers and people with disabilities who may have an interest in finding work. 

There are plans to significantly expand the apprenticeship system. 

The roll-out of the Job Path programme will continue. There will also be a new First Steps work experience and training programme for disadvantaged young people.

The Government also plans to enhance to range of welfare services available online, and redevelop the JobsIreland.ie website.