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INOU Annual Delegate Conference

24 May 2023 - 10:41 am


Press Release: 24th May 2023

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) held our Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) on Wednesday 24th May, in Ashling Hotel, 10-13 Parkgate St, Dublin 8.

Ann Fergus, INOU Chairperson was delighted to welcome Fr Peter McVerry SJ as the key note speaker to our first in-person ADC since 2019. Ann noted the importance of addressing the challenges facing people who are struggling to manage on a social welfare payment, to find somewhere affordable to live, at a time when the cost of living remains a very significant challenge for so many people.

Four motions were debated at the Conference including: 

  • The extension of the eligibility criteria for Community Employment so that people who are unemployed but who are not a social welfare payment could avail of this opportunity.
  • The provision of good and timely information on the options and supports that are available for people who are unemployed.
  • Calling on the Government to benchmark Social Welfare rates so that people are lifted above the poverty line and can enjoy a minimum essential standard of living.
  • Calling on the Government to resource the delivery of wrap around support services for all people who are unemployed, regardless of whether or not they are on a social welfare payment - to support them to access decent work and to appropriately address any barriers they experience. 

In the roundtable discussions at the Conference delegates discussed a range of important themes including:  

  • Within a context of increased employment and reducing unemployment, what are the challenges facing organisations working on the ground, people who are unemployed and distant from the labour market?
  • The impact of the increased cost of living, the need to ensure people have access to good income, supports and services: what should be sought in Budget 2024?
  • The diversity of welfare needs on the ground: people coming to Ireland from Ukraine; people very distant from the labour market; people for whom part-time work might be a more realistic option.

The INOU also published its Annual Report for 2022 and in presenting it to the Conference delegates, John Stewart, INOU Coordinator noted that in 2022 the organisation:

  • The work of the INOU’s Welfare to Work Information Service
    • Resumption of in-person information events/jobs fairs
    • Dealt with over 7,000 queries
    • Production of the 29th Edition of Working for Work
  • Very significant body of policy work and representation completed
  • Membership Development - deepened links with a range of organisations
  • Continued linkages with Affiliates - high levels of participation at online events
  • Significant increase in Training Services
  • On-going delivery of QQI and non-accredited Training Services on-line
  • Development of Townsend Street Learning Hub
  • Building Futures Year 12 completed and Year 13 working towards completion 
  • Shaping Futures Year 3 completed and Year 4 working towards completion
  • INOU facilitating the delivery of the ETB Connections Programme from the Hub
  • The work of the INOU’s Community Employment Programme

Comprehensive details of the full range of work the INOU undertook in 2022 is described in our Annual Report, which is available on our website linked here.