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Community Enterprise Scheme

Volume 76: debated on Monday 1 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will consider extending from one year to two years the maximum period of employment for each individual employed under the community enterprise scheme.

The action for community employment (ACE) scheme aims to assist the long-term unemployed regain their "employment" skills through a period of temporary employment. One year is regarded as a suitable time in which this may be achieved. Under existing arrangements, the Department of Economic Development may extend the period of employment of a key ACE worker on whom other ACE posts depend; but a general extension to two years would substantially reduce the number of people who could benefit from the scheme without enhancing the permanent employment prospects of ACE workers.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will consider, in the case of recognised charities which sponsor community enterprise schemes, funding such sponsors at 100 per cent.

Since its inception in 1981, registered charities have been significant contributors to the action for community employment (ACE) scheme. In common with other ACE sponsors, they have in general accepted the principle of 90 per cent. funding.These funding arrangments ensure a degree of commitment on the part of each sponsor and enable the maximum number of long-term unemployed to participate in the scheme in any one year. Accordingly, I have no plans to alter the funding arrangements.