The Tús scheme provides short-term work opportunities for unemployed people, which will benefit the community, as well as maintain social contact in a workplace environment for participants.
The Tús scheme, which commenced in 2010, is an Activation Initiative providing short-term work opportunities for unemployed people, which will benefit the community, as well as maintain social contact in a workplace environment for participants. IRD Duhallow successfully implements the Tús scheme on behalf of the Department of Social Protection in conjunction with the Rural Social Scheme and Community Employment, with the support of LEADER, LCDP and LIFE+ programmes, in order to best serve the community and voluntary organisations in the region and provide the best outcomes for participants.
Participants work for 19.5 hours per week for a duration of 12 months. Tús Supervisors identify the type of work placement most suited to the participant’s needs and aspirations based on the participant profile interview prior to commencing on the scheme. Participants have regular communication with their allocated supervisor who assists them with their progression and career planning and to identify any new personal training needs. In addition, Supervisors provide any additional information they may require with regard to the integrated suite of supports available through IRD Duhallow and other local agencies.
Exit interviews are conducted with participants and ongoing monitoring allows us to map the varied pathways people take after leaving the scheme. Participants on Tús can seek to engage in a Community Employment (CE) scheme on completion of Tús.
While the majority of people referred for Tús are selected on a random basis by the Department of Social Protection, 20% of available places can now be filled by assisted or self-referral. The assisted/self-referral affords people who fulfil the qualifying criteria the opportunity to avail of short-term quality work placements and break the cycle of unemployment which is so prevalent in the region. IRD Duhallow is working closely with the local DSP Case Officer who is assessing all applications for eligibility and suitability. To qualify for Tús, a person must be unemployed for at least 12 months and ‘signing on ‘and currently in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance. A free fuel allowance and rent allowance will continue to be paid to those who fulfil the qualifying conditions prior to joining Tús. For more information on Tús self-referral please contact your local Department of Social Welfare Payment.
Benefits to participants
In addition to the top up on their social welfare payment, there are many other benefits to the individual in this scheme, such as generating a sense of psychological and general well-being and an opportunity to become involved with a wider sector of society while working as part of a team. Those who participate receive ongoing training that enhances their existing skills, and develop new strengths and therefore improve their future employability prospects. The scheme is designed to reintroduce long term unemployed to the structure of work and help them refocus on employment while gaining valuable skills.
Benefits to Communities
Similar to the RSS, TÚS affords community groups and organisations access to a pool of participants to carry out community work under a variety of heading including:
- Energy conservation work in homes and community buildings
- Social care of all age groups and people with disabilities
- Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
- Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation and sporting spaces
- Work in support of cultural and heritage activities
- Community administration and community event management
Projects in Duhallow
Renovations of out-building at the James O Keeffe Institute
One of the first major projects undertaken by TÚS was the reconstruction and renovation of the out-buildings in the James O Keeffe Institute, which has a protected structure status. The work involved the sensitive restoration of this structure to its former glory by using traditional methods. While doing this, participants were learning many lost traditional skills, such as various lime-mixes, stone and brick bonding, and traditional wood and plastering techniques.
Furniture Revamp Programme
Through the work of our Warmer Homes Scheme we have became acutely aware that many older people and low income families are living in quite frugal circumstances. This coupled with the need to provide training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and mental ill health prompted us to develop REVAMP, our furniture recycling programme.
TÚS provided and ideal opportunity to initiate the project. We collect unwanted furniture from the public and set about restoring it with a view to selling on for a nominal fee to disadvantaged people who are not in a position to pay full price.
To date, restoration work carried out includes wood treatment, sanding and repairing, and various painting techniques, and staining and varnishing. Some furniture requires more skilled repairs or expertise and so a training programme was put in place TÚS participants in this training programme were taught all aspects of this trade and gained valuable experience and skills which could be transferred to the labour market once their twelves months on TÚS was complete.
Other Community Projects
TÚS is also providing support to a number of other community enterprises in Duhallow including placements in Duhallow Community Food Services, Duhallow Community Laundry, Duhallow Warmer Homes Scheme and a number are also helping the IRD Duhallow Life Environmental project. Village Renewal, community centres, community childcare facilities, sporting clubs and organisations are also benefiting.
IRD Duhallow’s Tús Scheme awarded Employment Initiative of the Year
IRD Duhallow was proud to attend the 2014 Local Authority Members Association Awards in Dublin, where our Tús scheme was named overall winner in the Employment Initiatives Category. Furthermore, our renovation work in the outbuildings at the James O’Keeffe Institute was shortlisted in the Heritage Category. It was an outstanding achievement. The awards were presented by Minister Fergus O’Dowd and the Master of Ceremonies was Miriam O’Callaghan from RTE.
For more information on the Tús Programme please contact 029-60633.