Council may opt out of job schemes

Cork County Council could become the first local authority in the country to discontinue employing people under Job-Bridge and Gateway schemes.

The majority of its 55 councillors believe the schemes are wrong because those on them have no chance of getting a full-time job with the council due to a government-imposed recruitment embargo.

Councillors are to debate a motion to opt out of the schemes when they meet in a fortnight’s time.

The motion is being tabled by Sinn Féin councillor Kieran McCarthy.

He will have backing from his nine party’s colleagues, the two Labour councillors, and Fianna Fáil, which has 17 councillors providing a majority of councillors in County Hall, even without the support of any of the 10 independents.

Mr McCarthy said he is concerned people are being exploited by the scheme, especially as they have no hope of getting a permanent job with the local authority.

“Cork County Council is in a unique position to help create meaningful, full-paying jobs, but only if it’s first prepared to turn away from employing people under cheap Government-sponsored exploitative schemes like Gateway as currently being promoted under the Department of Social Protection and Family Affairs.”

He said council bosses should be calling the minister for the environment to lift the embargo against public sector recruitment.

Seamus McGrath, Fianna Fáil whip on the council, said such programmes were designed to help people find work. “It doesn’t make sense if they therefore can’t get jobs with our council.”

More in this section