Tús and Rural Social Scheme provides meaningful jobs in local communities

The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providies short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The work opportunities are to benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas. The Tús initiative is managed by local development companies such as Mayo North East and Údarás na Gaeltachta for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), which has overall responsibility for the scheme.

Unemployed people who are eligible to participate in the scheme are selected and contacted by the DSP.

Type of project

All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme will be community-based. The types of project eligible for the scheme may include:

  • Environmental services (for example, conservation and maintenance of national walkways)
  • Caring services (for example, childcare, care of older people)
  • General community services (for example, newsletters or information provision for communities)
  • Heritage and cultural services (for example, local heritage project)
  • Para-educational services (for example, community playgroups)
  • To be eligible to participate in the Tús scheme you must:
  • Have been continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and “signing on” on a full-time basis; and
  • Have been receiving a jobseeker’s payment (Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance) from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for at least 12 months; and
  • Be currently receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The Rural Social Scheme

The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) is aimed at low-income farmers and fishermen/ women. To qualify for the RSS you must be getting a social welfare payment. In return, people participating in the RSS provide services that benefit rural communities.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has overall responsibility for policy in relation to the Rural Social Scheme, including eligibility criteria. The Department monitors the implementation of the RSS and supports the various bodies that manage the RSS locally. At a local level, the Scheme is managed by implementing bodies such as local development companies such as Mayo North East and in the Gaeltacht areas, by Údarás na Gaeltachta.

What type of work is carried out by people participating in the Scheme?

The type of work carried out by RSS participants includes:

  • Maintaining and enhancing various walking routes (that is, waymarked ways, agreed walks) and bog roads
  • Energy conservation work for older people and those at risk of poverty
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Social care and care of older people
  • Community care for pre-school and after-school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work – maintenance and caretaking of community and sporting facilities
  • Projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres
  • Community administration or clerical work
  • Any other appropriate work.

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Sponsered by The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Social Fund and includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative.