In response to our callout for articles for this issue of the INOU e-bulletin, we were sent this article about Community Employment from an affiliate and former INOU CE colleague.
What is CE (Community Employment)?
CE (Community Employment) is an employment programme which offers a minimum of €230.50 for 19.5 hours of work p/week (€11.82 p/hour). If you currently receive increases for Qualified Adult/Children you will retain these on top of your wage. A CE job offers the employee a minimum of 12 months’ work, training and personal development, with the possibility of extending this up to 3 years as long as the CE staff member continues to show their development. CE positions are available through local community-based organisations.
What do I gain/lose?
Along with the additional income, the focus of CE is to develop a person through experience & training and be a steppingstone to full employment and self-dependence. Social Welfare will provide training grants for the employee to develop their skills on QQI accredited courses. You will retain your Medical Card and any other additional benefits you hold at the time of application, so long as you continue to fulfil their qualification conditions. You will have the same statutory rights as any other employee, including Holiday/Sick Leave (with pay) and Maternity Leave. CE employees can avail of childcare provisions through the Community Employment Childcare (CEC) programme. You can also take up additional employment outside of CE with no effect on your CE wage. Rent Supplement may be affected by additional income but should not leave you at a financial disadvantage.
Why should I do it?
Time on CE is considered full employment and should be communicated as such on your CV. There is no requirement to say the job was a “scheme”. Apart from the financial increase and invaluable work experience, getting back to work through CE can have an immensely positive effect on your mental wellbeing by creating a healthy routine, having additional responsibilities & trust in you from management, and successfully reaching personal goals. CE, if used correctly, can be a launchpad to a long and successful career.
All CE vacancies can be found on jobsireland.ie (linked here).