|Brian Carty of the Irish Local Development Network
– Survey of local development companies indicates
Over an 18-month period, Local Development Companies (LDCs) directly supported an estimated 15,000 people to find their way back into paid work, placed around 70,000 people on training courses and provided support to about 10,000 small business start-ups. Many if not most of these people were long-term unemployed.
The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) has just published the results of a survey for 2010 and the first six months of this year. The survey covered just over half (27 out of 51) the LDCs in the country and our headline figures are based on a doubling of the numbers. The actual national impact may be slightly lower or indeed higher.
Of the 27 companies that took part in the survey, they supported 7,341 to secure jobs and found training places for 35,006 people and 5,175 businesses were set up with their assistance. For the first time, the full range of impacts delivered by LDCs – taking into account the myriad of national programmes they deliver – has been measured.
“It gives a company-wide picture of the impact and effectiveness of what local development companies are doing on the ground to support their communities,” said the ILDN’s Brian Carty. LDCs manage the local delivery of up to 18 funded national programmes in their areas nationwide and the survey covers work conducted under the LCDP, Rural Development Programme, Tus, Rural Social Scheme, etc.
The Local and Community Development Programme for instance invests 80% of its resources – through the LDCs – into helping long-term unemployed people, by supporting them to return to work and training, set up businesses or indeed find work for the first time.
Meanwhile, under the Tus work placement programme, the 27 companies will deliver places for 2,118 unemployed people this year. One-by-one, these people are being introduced to and successfully placed with voluntary and community groups in their local areas. The target is to have 5,000 people placed nationwide through Tus by year’s end.
Note: In relation to business start-ups, the survey also found the 27 LDCs supported a further 3,532 businesses at local level through the Back to Work Education Allowance Scheme and the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance Scheme.