Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, to conduct a full scale departmental investigation in to the employment and training policies operated by private companies contracted to operate the States JobPath Schemes. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it emerged that entities like Turas Nua have received almost €80 million in ‘job activation’ fees from the Department, with Seetec receiving an additional €73.3 million for its training and employment services:
“In May of this year I submitted a Parliamentary Question asking the Minister to confirm that Turas Nua is a private limited company and to provide details of the payments made to Turas Nua in the operation of its contract.
In reply, Minister Doherty confirmed to me that Turas Nua is a joint venture between FRS Recruitment and Working Links and is registered with the Companies Registration Office as Turas Nua Ltd., Registration No: 3344143VH.
She would not however provide me with the individual payments to the JobPath companies as these were considered “commercially sensitive and to do so would place the State at a disadvantage both in terms of the contracts now in place and any future procurement that may be undertaken.”
We now know that this was absolute rubbish because the exact information I demanded 7 months ago was given to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee this week in terms of how much these private companies are actually getting.
All of this is raising alarm bells with me with respect to the level of transparency that should exist where private companies like Turas Nua are receiving tens of millions of euros in fees.
I am therefore calling on the Minister to come clean about the massive profiteering that seems to be going on under the guise of getting people back into ‘suitable employment.’
We know from the massive damage done to the likes of the CE Schemes that this is very far from the reality on the ground,” concluded Deputy McGrath.