ADC 2019, Press Release

29 May 2019

Press Release: 29th May 2019

Annual Delegate Conference theme:

Decent work in a changing world of work

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed held our Annual Delegate Conference on Wednesday 29th May, in Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin 1, and were delighted to welcome Patricia King, General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, who gave the key note address.

The theme of this year’s Conference was ‘decent work in a changing world of work’. In welcoming Patricia King and the delegates to the Conference, Ann Fergus, INOU Chairperson noted that “The INOU is conscious that all the headline figures are moving in the right direction, but the reality on the ground for many people is that they are struggling on inadequate incomes, be they from social welfare, work, or a combination of the two”.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition notes that “Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men”.

In the roundtable discussions at the Conference delegates discuss the term decent work; the social welfare system and work; and the implications for people who are unemployed and distanced from the labour market of the changing world of work.   

This theme was reflected in the motions to the Conference including one from the Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre which called on the government to play their role in tackling problems faced by jobseekers most distanced from the job market.  To provide safeguards for those employed in more precarious forms of employment instead of being forced into short-term contracts, zero hours contracts, part-time work or other forms of labour, which they see as undesirable. Fundamental changes within the labour market must be done to address these inequalities and provide better support services to enable jobseekers to contribute productively to the labour market.”

Another Conference motion called “on the Government to benchmark all social welfare rates at a level which is sufficient to lift people above the poverty line and provide them with a Minimum Essential Standard of Living, and to only consider indexation when these benchmarks have been attained”.  

A motion from the General Branch, the mechanism through which Individual Members participate in the running of the INOU, sought “That unemployed people who are in receipt of credits should be able to avail of current and future Community Employment and Employment programme places in local community organisations”.

The INOU also published its Annual Report for 2018 and in presenting it to the Conference delegates, John Stewart, INOU Coordinator noted that in 2018 the organisation:

  • Mapping the Journey – the INOU completed the third phase of research on experience of unemployed people of the National Employment Service, which focused on JobPath.
  • The INOU will build on this research and shortly publish an INOU paper on Building an Effective Employment Service.
  • The Welfare to Work Information / Support section assisted with over 5,500 queries by phone, e-mail and on line.
  • The section also participated in 19 events / jobs fairs; met with hundreds of unemployed people; and distributed over 3,500 copies of Working for Work.
  • The 25th Edition of ‘Working For Work’ was produced and launched.
  • The INOU’s Jobs Watch website page listed 385 companies that announced over 45,000 jobs.
  • The INOU welcomed 9 new Affiliates in 2018 - over 200 Groups in membership.
  • With INOU affiliate the Samaritans ran 3 Conversations with Vulnerable People Training Events in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
  • A significant body of policy work and representation was completed.
  • Five Regional Discussion Forums were held in 2018.
  • The INOU’s education and training programme for people who were long-term unemployed, Building Futures saw Year 8 graduate on November 1st in the Mansion House; and Year 9 commence in the autumn.
  • On-going delivery of Training Services - 48 days of QQI and 33 days of On Request Training.
  • The organisation also became involved in a transnational project called Skills Match.
  • And that the INOU had 16 Participants on our Community Employment scheme and that significant progression into employment achieved in last year.


The INOU’s Annual Report 2018 is on our website and can be read in full by following this link