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Ireland - Employers' Job Creation Initiative comments on labour market reforms

12 May 2011

Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, Chair of Employers' Job Creation Initiative and Director at staffing agency Sigmar Recruitment has given an industry reaction to the Government's Jobs Initiative:

"After meeting with over 100 employers as part of the Employers' Job Creation Initiative, we welcome the Government's announcement around job creation. However, there are two logical missing pieces to the announcement, which would rapidly accelerate the impact of a number of the initiatives announced."
1. Job Seeker Database

"To set up a central database, allowing job seekers on the live register elect themselves available for work/ internship, categorised by skills. Give free access to employers allowing them to actively target candidates from the live register, and therefore exploit the financial incentive of doing so (Employers PRSI exemption/ reduction). As it stands, employers have to advertise internships through regular channels (press , jobs boards etc) and can't pre-select job seekers who qualify ( i.e. on the live register for over 3 months). The Job Seeker Database could be supported by a specific internship jobs board (National Internship Jobs), allowing job seekers target internship opportunities. The simpler the initiative, the more likely all stakeholders will engage with it."
"Details of the National Internship Scheme are yet to be announced. These placements also need to be meaningful with specific commercial outputs, allowing the intern create a need for them to be employed after the internship. Target intern functions should include Digital Marketing, Sales Support, International Market Analysis and Sales support, which should create meaningful value in the employer's business. Artificially propped up, short term internships won't create lasting demand. The initiative also has to be promoted among employers through a third party to attract meaningful engagement. It is assumed that the 5,000 placements announced is a starting point and will be extended as needs be. (15,000 placements were announced by the last Government under the Skills Development Internship Programme)."
2.  FÁS.

"No detail was given on a revamped FÁS (The Irish National Training & Employment Authority), on its continued role as the national employment agency in the middle of an employment and skills crisis. It is essential that the role of FÁS is defined and articulated to allow it to take tentative steps to rebuild its credibility. The agency needs to be purposely re- built and branded to become fit for purpose for the new demographics of unemployed. It also needs to adopt a new employer engagement strategy if it is to be used to administer any of the job creation initiatives." 
There are three stakeholders when it comes to Job Creation:

"1) The Government 2) Employers and 3) Job Seekers. The Government can't create jobs in the private sector. They are responsible for creating the economic conditions, which allow companies to prosper and therefore look to employ job seekers. They have in this instance gone some way to incentivise employment and to create some appropriate economic conditions."

"There is now a focus on the second stakeholder, the employer, to engage with the initiatives and look to take on a job seeker (where possible) and to benefit from the incentives. All internships must have real commercial outputs, with a realistic opportunity to add value to the organisation and therefore creating a need for them to be employed by the business after the internship placement.
There is a sense of entitlement among many job seekers, when it comes to employment."

"There needs to big step change in many job seekers attitude and they need to become more accountable for their own employment. There are also many job seekers who don't know how to go about a job search and need to be competing more effectively in the recruitment process. Taking a holistic view, employment is largely demand driven and if that demand isn't there, self employment or re skilling have to become real options for many job seekers."

To read the government's Job Initiative in detail please click here


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