Can I take part in a Community Employment Scheme?

CE schemes can help you to find temporary work placements in the local community

Written by spunout


The Community Employment (CE) scheme can help you get back to work if you are long-term unemployed. It provides part-time and temporary paid work placements within local communities.

What is the Community Employment (CE) scheme?

The CE Scheme helps people who are long-term unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged to get back to work. It does this by offering part-time and temporary work placements in local communities. By taking part in a CE scheme, you can gain new skills and experiences that may help you to find a job later on.

How many hours will I work on the CE scheme?

You must work for 19.5 hours per week (excluding breaks) for your sponsor organisation. Your sponsor may agree with DSP to arrange your work hours differently. For example, you might work 39 hours every second week.

How much will I get paid on the CE scheme?

The minimum weekly payment for new participants based on 19.5 hours worked is €230.50. You may receive more than this. Participant wage rates are determined by their current social welfare payment.

If the social welfare payment you were getting before participating in the CE scheme is more than €208 per week, you will receive the same amount as your social welfare payment plus an extra €22.50 per week.

If the social welfare payment you were receiving before participating in the CE scheme is less than or equal to €208 per week, you will receive a payment of €230.50 per week while on the scheme.

Can I work part-time while on the CE scheme?

It is possible to take up other part-time work while on the CE scheme.

Can I receive other payments while on the CE scheme?

You are entitled to receive income from part-time work while on the CE scheme. 

You will also keep your entitlement to the other social welfare benefits you were getting immediately before going onto CE, provided you continue to meet the conditions for these benefits. If you are receiving Rent Supplement, the amount you get may be reduced.

Any change in your circumstances might affect your payments. You should inform your CE supervisor and the local DSP Community Development Officer responsible for your CE scheme if your circumstances change while taking part in the Community Employment scheme.

How long can I stay on the CE scheme?

If you are aged between 21 and 55 years, your CE placement generally lasts for one year. However, if you are working towards a major education award, your CE placement can be extended by up to two years.

If your CE term has ended, you can stay on the scheme until a replacement CE participant is found.

Am I eligible for the Community Employment (CE) scheme?

You must meet certain requirements to take part in the CE scheme. You must be 21 or over and in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for one year or more. If you are a member of certain disadvantaged groups and meet the other scheme requirements, you can take part from the age of 18.

To take part in the CE scheme, you must also be getting any combination of the following qualifying payments for at least 12 months:

Time spent on a recognised training course such as SOLAS/ ETB, a VTOS course, Youthreach or in prison may count as part of the 12 month qualifying period.

People on the JobPath programme and the Tús scheme are eligible for CE.

If you are aged 21 and over, and are getting Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can have worked up to 30 days in the 12 months before starting the CE scheme and still be eligible.

There are some exceptions to the requirements above. It is best to speak to a member of staff in your local Intreo Centre for more information about the qualifying criteria.

How to apply for the CE scheme

To apply for the CE scheme, you must register at your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

Your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office can provide information about CE job opportunities. Job listings are also available online.

What happens when I finish the CE scheme?

When your CE placement ends, you are encouraged to seek a job elsewhere using the skills, experience and training you gained on the scheme.

Find out more about CE schemes.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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