What we do

The INOU provides services to and engages with six key groups:

  • Unemployed people
  • Local organisations which support unemployed people
  • National organisations that work on a range of equality, social inclusion and anti-poverty issues
  • Employers
  • Policy makers /key Government Departments
  • The media.

Our work in relation to all these groups is central to sustaining our role and relevance as the national representative organisation of the unemployed. We have long recognised that the most effective route out of poverty and social exclusion for unemployed people, and those reliant on welfare payments, is access to decent employment coupled with the knowledge, capacity and ability of the individual to take up such employment opportunities.

We provide a wide range of services and supports to unemployed people and people in receipt of other Social Welfare payments.


Our services include:

  • The provision of Welfare to Work Information and Advocacy services to unemployed people and organisations providing information to unemployed people. we respond to over 7,000 queries annually. We also produce a wide range of welfare to work information publications including 18,500 copies of Working for Work – the most comprehensive publication available that covers work, education, training and welfare to work options.
  • The delivery of training/support services to member organisations. The organisation is a QQI accredited training provider and provides a range of training/support services and programmes to our member groups and other organisations (including statutory agencies) on welfare to work and employment entitlements. The organisation also provides training directly to people who are long-term unemployed through our very successful Building Futures Programme and our new Shaping Futures Programme.
  • The provision of expert labour market policy analysis on employment, unemployment, education and training. The INOU is represented on a range of policy forums, including the Labour Market Council which is tasked with overseeing the Government’s Pathways to Work initiative.
  • Membership supports including the involvement of Unemployed People/Individual Membership. This involves the structured participation of unemployed people in the INOU through the General Branch; the maintenance of a network of Individual Member contacts and activists and the engagement of unemployed people in the organisation’s work through thematic focus groups, workshops and introductory meetings.
  • The INOU Community Employment Scheme/Transitional Work Programme. The INOU have been running a Community Employment (CE) Scheme for over 20 years. We currently employ sixteen CE participants, thirteen of whom work in our offices in North Richmond Street and three who work in Ozanam House Resource Centre, Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1.

  • Linkages with member organisations; Integral to this are the regional Discussion Forum meetings which provide an opportunity for us to brief our members on developments in relation to unemployment/employment, and related issues. The supports provided to members of the Forums in terms of information sharing and publications have been invaluable to the work of local groups. These meetings enable the INOU to ensure that the day-to-day issues affecting members are integrated into our day-to-day work.



From 28th February 2020, the INOU is registered on the Public Register of Charities - Charity Number 20205369.  Our voluntary Board of Trustees  (or National Executive Committee) has overall responsibility for managing and directing the work of the organisation and its staffing and financial resources. Day-to-day responsibility for the running of the organisation is delegated to the INOU Co-ordinator and the Senior Management Team.

The INOU’s Charitable Purpose has 5 main strands:

  • The prevention or relief of poverty or economic hardship through the provision of a comprehensive  welfare rights/welfare to work information, advocacy and training service.
  • The advancement of education through the provision of training/education and acting as a sponsor of employability programmes such as CE and two LTIs.
  • The advancement of community welfare including the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health or disability through the provision of information on welfare, work, education and training and also directly supporting unemployed people and organisations working on unemployment.
  • The advancement of community development including rural or urban regeneration by supporting community based organisations in their work through the provision of training and information services with a view to enhancing the capacity of organisations to provide services and supports to unemployed people and other people experiencing social and economic exclusion.
  •  The integration of those who are disadvantaged and the promotion of their full participation in society by way of representing the interests and views of all unemployed people and their dependents at a national level; campaigning for an acceptable standard of living for all unemployed people and their dependents and by campaigning towards the achievement of full employment at an acceptable rate of pay.