By OLIVIA RYAN – LOUTH LEADER Partnership have launched an appeal to community and voluntary groups across the county to take part in the TUS initiative.
The unique scheme, which provides a TUS worker to community and voluntary organisations, at no cost, also provides the long term unemployed with vital experience.
John Butler, CEO Louth Leader Partnership, explained that they are working with the Department of Social Protection to deliver TUS in Louth.
‘We have been allocated 180 places on this national programme. Long-term unemployed people, who are one year or more on the Live Register are eligible for TUS and are selected at random by the department and are invited to participate in the programme.’
He stressed that individuals cannot apply to take part in the TUS scheme and can only be invited if their name is selected.
‘We are then provided with the names of those selected and must match their skills and experience with the most appropriate placement for them in a community, voluntary, or even a sporting group in Louth.’
Currently, Louth Leader Partnership have secured 58 TUS workers on placement, but are anxious to place the entire 180 workers with organisations by the end of March 2012.
The advantage to TUS workers is that they are entitled to keep their full social welfare payment for the year-long placement, they work 19.5 hours a week, and will be paid an additional €20 per week.
‘It is a win-win for the groups involved too, as they benefit from getting additional workers, at no extra cost to them, for an entire year,’ said John.
He added that, where necessary, garda vetting will be carried out to ensure the most appropriate TUS worker is granted a placement.
Groups can also be assured that a ‘probationary period’ is included with all placements, to ensure that if a TUS worker is unsuitable, their placement can be suspended.
Community, voluntary, or sporting groups interested in taking part in the TUS initiative should contact Mavis Kelly on (041) 68 57375 or by emailing mavis.kelly@louthleaderpartnership.