Supports to help you find work

Youth Employment Support Scheme

The Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) is a work experience placement programme for young jobseekers aged 18-24 who are long-term unemployed or face barriers to employment. It gives young people the chance to learn basic work and social skills in a supportive environment while on a work placement.

This scheme is available to jobseekers who are:

  • aged between 18 and 24, and
    • have been out of work and in receipt of a qualifying payment for at least 12 months, or
    • unemployed for less than 12 months, but are considered by a case officer to face a significant barrier to work.

All participants receive a weekly payment of €229.20 and must work 24 hours a week. YESS placements are for 3 months at first, but there is an option to extend this for a further 3 months. This helps young people to gain valuable work experience.

To qualify, you must be getting a payment from this list of social welfare payments.  

Community Employment Scheme

The Community Employment (CE) programme is designed to help people who are long-term unemployed (or suffer a particular disadvantage) to get back to work by offering part-time, temporary placements in jobs based within the local community.

You can also take up other part-time work while on a CE placement. The community employment work is community based.

The training provided through CE is delivered within a Quality Assurance framework. See details of recognised courses on that can be achieved and that lead to major awards on the National Framework of Qualifications.

When your CE placement ends, you can look for a job elsewhere using the skills, experience and training you received while on the CE scheme.

The duration of a CE placement is for 12 months with some exceptions. For shorter placements, the Tús scheme (below) is available. In general, you must be 21 years of age or older to take part in a CE scheme.

In most cases, you must also be getting one of the following payments for at least 12 months:

There are some exceptions, so it is best to talk with an adviser in your local Intreo centre.


Tús - Community Work Placement Initiative

This is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The jobs are to benefit the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas.

To qualify for Tús, you must:

  • have been continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and "signing on" on a full-time basis,
  • have been receiving either Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance for at least 12 months,
  • be currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance.

If you are unemployed and eligible for the scheme, your local local Intreo centre or Social Welfare Branch Office will identify and contact you.


The JobsPlus scheme encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register. Employers get either €7,500 or €10,000 cash paid monthly over 2 years.

Eligible employers who recruit full-time employees on or after 1 July 2013 may apply for the incentive.

Short-Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) supports people who have lost their job and want to start their own business.

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance is paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 9 months. It ends when your entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit ends (that is at either 6 or 9 months).


To qualify, you must be getting Jobseeker’s Benefit. There is no qualifying period, which means you do not need to have been getting Jobseeker’s Benefit for a certain period of time. However, you will not qualify if you are getting Jobseeker’s Benefit and working part-time.

Back To Work Enterprise Allowance

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in this scheme, you can keep part of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years. To qualify, you must be under the age of 66.