Representatives from Traveller and Roma group Pavee Point will tell politicians there needs to be a commitment by the State to increase employment opportunities.

They will appear along with representatives from other Traveller groups and charities at a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community later today.

Pavee Point says the Pathways to Work strategy from the Department for Social Protection, which is expected to be published early next year, should target Traveller and Roma participation in apprenticeships, training and employment services. 

It will urge the further education and training authority, SOLAS, to include and focus on Traveller and Roma communities in its forthcoming strategy. 

Patrick Reilly of Pavee Point said: "Addressing underemployment in our communities, therefore, must occur in parallel with targeted and mainstream measures to address educational inequality for our communities."

Ahead of the meeting, Chair of the Committee Senator Colette Kelleher referred to Census 2016 which showed an unemployment rate of 80% for Travellers compared with 13% for the general population.

She said the committee will explore "the reality behind these figures for Travellers when it comes to accessing work and current projects and supports in place to support Travellers in the labour market."