Skills to Work

Skills To Work brings together key initiatives that support jobseekers to access training and work experience and encourage businesses to employ people currently on the Live Register. It aims to make it easier for jobseekers and employers to access information on all their training options. The five programmes under the Skills to Work programme are: Springboard, Momentum, Skillnets, JobBridge and JobsPlus.

Back to Work Family Dividend is now fully operational

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives financial support to people with qualified children who are in or take up employment or self-employment and as a result stop claiming a jobseeker’s payment or a one-parent family payment on or after 5 January 2015.

The scheme become fully operational from 6 May 2015.

Read more about the payment in our document on Back to Work Family Dividend. 

New SURE tax refund scheme

A new tax refund scheme for start ups called Start Up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) has been announced.

If you are interested in starting your own company, you may be entitled to an income tax refund of up to 41% of the capital funding that you invest in the company. Depending on the size of your investment you may be entitled to a refund of PAYE income tax that you paid over the six years before the year in which you invest.

The general conditions for SURE are that you must:

  • Establish a new company and engage in a qualifying trading activity
  • Invest money in the new company by way of purchasing new shares
  • Have had mainly PAYE income in the previous four years (This would include a person currently in PAYE type employment, an unemployed person, a person recently made redundant or a retired person)
  • Take up full-time employment in the new company either as a director or an employee.

Read more at sure.gov.ie.

Measures announced to support people in mortgage arrears

A number of measures have been announced to support people in mortgage arrears.

The new measures will include giving Courts the power to review insolvency arrangements, the expansion of the mortgage-to-rent scheme and a greater role for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) in offering information, advice and assistance to borrowers in arrears.

Find out more on merrionstreet.ie.

It’s National Walk to School Week

The Green Schools National Walk to School Week encourages pupils, their parents and teachers to walk to and from school.

National Walk to School Week makes walking all or part of the way to school a fun experience and teaches about children the health and environmental benefits. National Walk to School Week will be promoted in over 1500 participating schools.

Read more on An Taisce’s Green Schools website. 

Springboard places for jobseekers

The 2015 Springboard courses are now open for applications. 

Springboard+ 2015 which incorporates part-time Springboard courses and full-time ICT skills conversion programmes will provide for 285 courses at 42 higher education institutions across Ireland.

Springboard offers free courses at certificate, degree and masters level and aims in particular to offer qualifications in areas where there are job opportunities – such as ICT and financial services.

In general, to qualify for Springboard you must be unemployed, with a previous history of employment, and you must be actively seeking work and available to take up work. Courses are one year or less and are generally part-time except for ICT skills conversion programmes.

Read about Springboard and eligibility criteria. 

Childcare and early childhood education – extension of consultation period for parents

The Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment in Early Years and School-Age Care and Education Services is exploring ways of ensuring that current and future investment delivers more affordable, accessible and high quality early years and school-age care and education.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has extended the time for parents and guardians to contribute to the Group. The new closing date for submissions from parents and guardians is midnight on Sunday 10 May 2015. 

Find out more from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. 

Project Connect Dublin

Project Connect Dublin is a one-day event taking place on Friday, 8 May that seeks to bring together a range of services in a single location. The event is aimed at people who are at risk of losing their home, who want information on entitlements or who are looking for legal, budgeting or careers advice.

The Dublin 246 Citizens Information Service and the Liffey South West Money Advice and Budgeting Service are providing information and advice at the event, which is organised by KPMG.

You can sign up to attend Project Connect Dublin on the eventbrite.ie website.

Today is the last day to be added to the Supplement to the Register of Electors

If you are qualified to vote in the upcoming referendums but your name is not on the register, you can apply to be included in a Supplement to the Register on form RFA2. This will allow you to vote at any election or referendum held during the year. You can apply for inclusion on the supplement as a result of changing address on form RFA3. This will also remove you from the register for your previous address.

You must apply for inclusion on the Supplemental Register at least 15 days before polling day (Sundays, are not counted as days for this purpose) so today, Tuesday 5 May 2015 is the last day for the referendums that take place on Friday 22 May 2015.