The Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP)

Attention Employers / Jobseekers:

The challenge to finding an experienced worker to join your company can prove difficult – Chicken and Egg comes to mind. They have the qualifications, interest and aptitude for the role but that line “experience required” can be a mountain to climb.

The Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP) recently launched by the Irish Government seeks to address this issue.

It allows employers to give work experience to a jobseeker which will be mutually beneficial – employers get workers and jobseekers learn new skills and gain valuable work experience. Win! Win!

The programme is targeted at people aged between 18 and 65 years; who are on certain social welfare payments for at least 6 months. The objective is to provide training and work experience to support that a jobseeker into a new job.

Employers, if you want to provide an opportunity to a jobseeker to work in your company for 30 hours a week? – continue reading.

There is no cost to the employer; the participant will be paid by the Department of Social Protection during their placement.

The WPEP payment will be €306 per week. No top-up payments to the participant are permitted. The Programme is open to the private, public, civil service, community and voluntary sectors.

In order to become a WPEP host the employer must be:
• a business or a charity registered with the Revenue Commissioners
• tax compliant and provide an up to date Revenue Tax reference number and a Tax Clearance Access Number (TCAN)
• operating in the Republic of Ireland

Also, have a minimum of one full-time employee who is employed for 30 hours or more per week (that is, on payroll and subject to PAYE and PRSI).
To register as a WPEP host and advertise a vacancy please go to Jobs Ireland or email

Calling all Jobseekers, if you would like to re-train and gain experience in a new type of employment, this programme can help you build new skills and gain work experience.

You cannot take a placement where you already have built up experience in the role.

This is an excellent opportunity to get on the path of your ideal job. You can work part-time while you are on the programme, provided the part-time work does not impact your placement hours.

The part-time work cannot be with the WPEP host.

This pandemic has been devastating in so many areas of Irish life – but out of times of great change comes great opportunity. Adapt is the best way to survive.

It may have resulted in you having to go on a PUP Payment, and the loss of your old job. However, if you would like to get like training and work experience in a new work role, the WPEP may be an option for you.

Time spent on PUP may be counted as part of the 6 month qualifying criteria for WPEP, but you must transfer to one of the qualifying payments before you can take up a WPEP placement.

The qualifying payments are:
• Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Jobseeker’s Benefit
• Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment
• One-Parent Family Payment
• Disability Allowance
• Blind Pension
• Farm Assist
• Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed

If you would like more information to check your eligibility contact your case officer in your local Intreo Centre. Follow the link: Waterford Intreo Service