November of this year marks the 35 th anniversary of the founding of the INOU.
In 1987 a group of concerned individuals – unemployed activists, trade unionists and others came together against a backdrop of high unemployment, low participation rates, long-term unemployment and mass emigration. At the time, the scale of the unemployment crisis was such that collective action was needed both to bring forward potential solutions and to ensure that unemployed people had access to programmes and services and reasonable social welfare payments whilst unemployed.
From its fledgling roots, the organisation has developed over the last 35 years and now has 200 member groups including community based resource centres, Citizens Information Services, Money Advice and Budgetary Services, national NGOs, trade unions and the General Branch of unemployed people and many hundreds of individual unemployed people in membership.
The key aims of the INOU have remained steadfast over the last 35 years. These are to:
- Seek to represent the interests and views of all unemployed people and their dependents at a national level;
- Campaign for an acceptable standard of living for all unemployed people and their dependents;
- Campaign towards the achievement of full employment at an acceptable rate of pay.
In March 2020, the organisation was successful in its application for inclusion on the Public Register of Charities. Our 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 s upporting 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 byway 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.
I would like to thank all of the individuals and groups that have been associated with the organisation since it’s foundation and whose support, assistance and dedication to the fight against unemployment has been critical in enabling the organisation to develop and grow over the last 35years. I look forward to the organisation continuing to play a vital role in support of unemployed people well into the future.