herald

Friday 18 January 2019

ICBE in shock as funding cut

A PROJECT which has successfully returned dozens of people to work is in shock after the Government axed funding -- despite a 60pc success rate.

The Irish Centre for Business Excellence -- a not-for-profit business network under whose direction the Begin Again initiative is run -- said it was stunned after the Government cut funding to Begin Again.

The Government did this by discontinuing the Labour Market Activation Fund in the recent budget.

And some of those who found positions thanks to placements organised by the company say the decision flies in the face of political party promises to create jobs.

Director John Buckley said today: "I have to admit we are in a state of shock.

"The programme is aimed at experienced and professional individuals and despite the fact it has only operated since last June it had been very successful.

"We matched businesses to the skills of the people who joined our programme and they provided their skills to those businesses for 12-week work placements.

"There is a commitment from the employers that they will seek to offer a job at the end of it, if the placement works out to the satisfaction of both.

"In 60pc of cases people have been removed from the Live Register; giving between €5m and €10m back to the exchequer on an annual basis. We are gutted."

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