Supports to help you find work

Work Placement Experience Programme

The Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP) is a 6-month, 30 hour per week voluntary work experience programme. The programme is for jobseekers that are currently in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment and who have been unemployed for six months (156 days) or more, (see qualifying list here ).

If you would like to re-train and gain experience in another 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.

You can work part-time while you are on the programme providing the part-time work does not impact your placement. The part-time work cannot be with the WPEP Host.

Jobseeker's who are currently receiving the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment must qualify and switch to a Jobseeker's payment before they commence the programme.

The WPEP Guidelines provide information on participant eligibility or you can check with your local Intreo Centre Case Officer to see if you are entitled to take part in any scheme or placement.

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. Participation on CE is for 19.5 hours per week. 

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.

CE placements are for one year, however if you are working towards a major QQI Award you may be eligible for up to an additional 2 years on CE (maximum total of 3 consecutive years). 

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 speak with an advisor in your local Intreo centre  

You can take up other part-time work while on a CE placement without affecting your CE payment.

When your CE placement is coming to an end, you will be assisted to find employment using the skills, experience and training you received while on the CE scheme.

Please see our information video for jobseekers at Community Employment Video


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.