In Ireland a report into how State agencies encourage and assist the unemployed to return to work has found that they can have the opposite effect .
The report,by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) says that those who are assisted by the State while on the dole were less likely to return to work than the average welfare recipient.
They found that participation in programmes run by FAS increased the probability of subsequent employment by between 10 and 14 per cent.
However, Fás “activation interviews” with jobseekers resulted in the chances of entering employment being about 17 per cent lower for those who went through the interview process.
Overall – the effect of FAS was either zero, or at best weakly positive.
One strange rule in FAS – is that someone losing a job who had claimed unemployment benefit in the past is excluded from getting assistance in job searches and training.
Another failing identified was that one in four of those unemployed people eligible for assistance by the State were not identified . Poor communications between the Department of Social Protection and FAS are the primary reason for this.