The Tús Programme – Supporting your Return to Employment

Returning to work after a long period of time can be very daunting. This has given rise to the development of the Tús Programme to support a person back into employment.

For the past nine years Tús has been successfully managed by a dedicated team of six Supervisors employed by Waterford Area Partnership CLG in association with the Department of Social Protection. It offers quality work placements in the community and voluntary sector across Waterford City. The person is placed at the centre of the process and is given choice to apply for a placement that suits their needs.

It is a win – win for all concerned – the person gets valuable work experience and Waterford City’s community based programmes get support and resources to deliver their services to all. Experience of the programme has shown that it has a positive impact on people’s confidence and self-esteem. Generally speaking the participants find it difficult to leave their placement when the 12 months are up, and have on occasion returned as volunteers to their host organisations.

Who can take part?

The Department of Social Protection chooses who can take part in the Tús programme in this area. But, you can also apply through your case officer to take part. On request you will be given a Self-Referral Form which you complete and return to your case officer. The people that they choose have been out of work and getting a Jobseekers payment for a minimum of 12 months.

How does it work?

If you are chosen to take part in the Tús programme, you will:
• Have a quality work placement for 12 months
• Work 19.5 hours per week
• Get work experience that will help your chances of getting work
• Continue to get your social welfare payment
• Get a minimum payment of €225.50 per week
• Be free to work additional hours outside of the programme
• Get 81 hours annual leave over the 12 months
• Contribute your skills and experience to a community organisation
• Get ongoing support from the community organisation that you are working for
• Be signed off the live register and your social welfare payment and become an employee of Waterford Area Partnership on work placement
• Have ongoing support from your Tús Team Supervisor

What type of positions are available?

All of the work placements available are aimed to benefit both you and the local community. Some examples of the positions available on work experience include:
• Care assistants
• Childcare assistants
• Maintenance
• Security
• Sports coaching
• Caretaking
• Administration and clerical work

*Where necessary, Garda clearance will be required.

What is the process?

• If the Department of Social Protection chooses you to take part in Tús they will contact you and let you know. They will ask you to respond to the offer
• While the majority of people referred for Tús are selected on a random basis by the Department, places can be filled by self-referral by using the self-referral form from your case officer in the Department of Social Protection – Completed forms should be returned to your local Intreo office (Department of Social Protection)
• If you agree to take part DSP will send on your details
• When your details are received you will be contacted and asked to meet with one of the Tús Team Supervisors. They will talk to you about Tús, your previous work and education experience, and the types of work experience you are interested in
• They will look at the work experience positions that we have
• They will identify which of these match your skills, personal qualities and areas of work that you are interested in
• Invite you to meet with them and the community organisation which is offering the work experience
• If your skills and qualities are a good match with a placement in the community organisation then you may be offered the position
• If your skills and qualities are not a good match for a placement offered by a community organisation then they will continue to look for a more suitable placement for you
What happens when my 12 month work placement is completed?
Towards the end of your work experience we will invite you to meet with your Tús Supervisor to:
• Discuss and agree supports that are available to you to progress into further work or training
• Give you final feedback on how you have performed on your work experience
• Hear your views on the programme

When you have finished your work placement you will be referred back to the Department of Social Protection.

If you are a community based organisation – how can you get Tús Placements?

Any not-for-profit, community organisation operating in this area, who can offer suitable work experience can take part in Tús. The work experience position you offer should be of value to the local community and meaningful to the person who takes up the role. Tús are open to considering any role offered. Some examples of work placement positions currently on offer through Tús are:
• Care assistants
• Childcare assistants
• Maintenance
• Security
• Sports coaching
• Caretaking
• Administration and clerical

Your organisation can expect:
• To benefit from the skills and experience of the person who is placed with you
• To contribute to the personal and professional development of the person who is placed with you
• To develop and deliver your service with additional resources
• The Human Resource administration of the person on the work experience placement, including wages, annual leave, sick leave and time sheets will be done by the Tús Supervisor assigned to your organisation.

Tús ask all organisations taking part in Tús to:
• Work with them to choose a person who matches the skills and qualities that are needed for the role in your organisation
• Provide a quality work experience in a meaningful role within your organisation.
• Nominate a named person to give ongoing supervision and support to the person on work experience placement

How do community organisations apply?
If you are interested in providing a quality work placement to a person who has been chosen to take part in Tús, please contact them on the details below.

They will visit your organisation to tell you about Tús:
• Assess the suitability of the work experience role you are offering
• Help you to write a job description for the role
• Work with you to identify and choose a person that matches the role and your organisation

For general queries, contact: John Barrett, Waterford Area Partnership CLG, Westgate Retail Park, Tramore Road, Waterford.