Government support for long-term unemployed

Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) up and running


As part of Budget 2018, Minister Regina Doherty TD announced a new work experience programme targeted exclusively at young jobseekers (18 – 24 year-olds) who are in receipt of a social welfare payment and are either long-term unemployed or facing significant barriers to gaining employment. The aim of the scheme is to provide these jobseekers with opportunities to learn basic work and personal development skills in a supportive environment while on a work placement with a view to improving their employment prospects.


What employers are eligible?


YESS is open to placement hosts in the private, community and voluntary sectors only.  Public service employers, including schools and colleges are excluded from participation. The scheme is open to sole traders who satisfy the conditions of the scheme so long as the sole trader is available to mentor and supervise the participant. The placement host should not have vacancies in the area of activity in which the placement is offered.  The YESS placement should not displace an existing employee.


Payments for participants


Participants on YESS will receive an allowance of €229.20 per week.  Payment will be made by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). If the participant’s primary welfare payment exceeds €229.20, an additional €22.50 top-up payment will be paid per week. Employer top-up contributions are not permitted.




The initial duration of a YESS placement will be 3 months which may be extended to 6 months.  The placement will be subject to review by a DEASP case officer after two months to determine if sufficient progress is being made by the participant. If there is a credible prospect of the participant making further progress through extension of the placement, the DEASP may extend the placement for a second three-month term.


Learning and development plans


On commencement of the placement, both the placement host and the participant agree a Learning & Development (L&D) Plan. The L&D Plan will detail the skills and experience the participant will have the opportunity to learn and develop during the placement. The L&D Plan should include a range of personal development skills as well as any specific ‘work’ skills that will be acquired during the placement and which are based on the advertised vacancy. The placement host will complete a reference for the participant at the end of the placement.




The placement will be monitored regularly with monthly compliance reporting on the placement along with evaluation of the participant’s work experience, development and progression. The purpose of monthly compliance reporting is to ensure that placements are progressing in accordance with the scheme guidelines.   Failure to complete the monthly compliance report may affect the participant’s YESS payment and the placement host’s continued participation on the scheme.


DEASP support


The DEASP case officer will be the key liaison person for both the placement host and the participant. The case officer will complete a formal review meeting after 2 months, which will also be the basis for any decision in relation to whether or not to grant a request for an extension of the duration of the placement to 6 months.



Limits on number of participants


Number of Full Time Employees* Number of YESS Participants permitted


1-10 employees 1 participant
11-20 employees 2 participants
21-30 employees 3 participants
30 + employees 10% of the workforce to a maximum of 10 participants whichever is the smaller

* Who is employed for 30 hours or more per week (i.e. on payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI)


Financial incentives for employers


At the end of the placement, placement hosts will be encouraged to hire suitable participants in paid positions and may qualify for a subsidy under the JobsPlus Youth grant scheme.


JobsPlus is an incentive from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to encourage and reward employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. Grants of €7,500 and €10,000 are available.


Need more information? Contact our advice line on +353 1 886 0350 to discuss state sponsored employment incentives or any other HR issue affecting your organisation.

Back to the blog
2019 Graphite HRM