This article explores the design of JobPath, an employment programme whose aim is to assist the long-term unemployed in the Republic of Ireland. The paper begins by discussing the background to the issue of long-term unemployment in Ireland and justifies the need for an activation programme such as JobPath to meet an urgent resourcing need. It then analyses programme design and its degree of suitability to the Irish context – a crucially important feature if the policy is to be successful. The Irish government has considered lessons learned from contracted provision of employment programmes in other countries, such as Great Britain and Australia to develop a programme that includes protections for both clients and taxpayers. Despite this, ambiguity remains with regard to how the programme would interface with existing employment services, and there are risks in the establishment of what is effectively a new market. However, the programme’s design creates an overall cause for optimism, as JobPath is likely to act as advancement towards the socioeconomic inclusion of Ireland's long-term unemployed.
How to Cite:
Lowe, S., 2015. JobPath: The proposed introduction of an employment programme in the Republic of Ireland. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 3(2), pp.113–130.