Laois benefits from scheme to help move people from welfare to work

Ryan Dunne

Reporter:

Ryan Dunne

Participants in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) are twice as likely to be in full employment after six months than those who did not take part, a review has found.

The study compared people who had stayed on the BTWEA scheme for its full two year duration with non-participants.

Laois TD and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan, said the review, published by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, was very encouraging for Laois.

“In Laois some 220 people are currently participating in the programme. Entrepreneurs are vital for local economies, our economic future and for job creation,” said the Minister.

“I would encourage anyone who is currently unemployed in Laois to use this valuable State support which helps starting a new business. This review has shown the allowance is highly effective in getting people in Laois from welfare to work."

The BTWEA helps people who are unemployed or claiming welfare to set up their own business and continue receiving State income supports for two years, while getting advice and support for running a new enterprise.

“The Department of Social Protection has also made it much easier for many more people to avail of the allowance,” continued Minister Flanagan.

“The qualification period has been reduced from 12 months to just nine months for more people on welfare, not just for Jobseekers, but also reduced those on other schemes like One-Parent Family Payment, Jobseekers Transitional Payment, Disability Allowance, and Farm Assist, and other welfare payments.”