Employment Supports for Jobseekers

skill set

Supports to develop skills and experience

Build your skills and get on-the-job experience

The Department of Social Protection provides a range of financial incentives, work experience schemes and training programmes for jobseekers who are returning to work, or looking to gain experience or a qualification in a specific area.  These include the Training Support Grant (TSG), the Work Placement Experience Programe (WPEP) and JobsPlus.

Training Support Grant (TSG)

The TSG provides funding for jobseekers including PUP recipients to access short term training to obtain or renew certs and permits.  Funding of up to €1,000 is available for jobseekers who can show the need for training to help them gain employment/self-employment.  The training must be compatible with your agreed Intreo Personal Progression Plan and labour market conditions. Applications are made through your local Intreo Office.


The funding applies to training not directly available through the DSP or other state providers (Solas / ETB’s / Teagasc), or where such provision is unavailable within a reasonable timeframe or at a location convenient to the jobseeker.  


Training includes Safe Pass courses, security industry permits, HGV/rigid/bus driver training and HACCP courses.  Industry specific training is allowable once it is not a programme above a QQI level 6. 

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JobsPlus is an incentive to encourage employers and businesses to employ jobseekers who have been on the Live Register (including PUP), for long periods.


The DSP pays the incentive to the employer monthly in arrears over a 2-year period.  It provides 2 levels of payment – €7,500 and €10,000.  Jobseekers not in receipt of a jobseekers payment and signing for PRSI jobseeker credits are also eligible once they are on the Live Register for the required number of days.


Employers must satisfy several qualifying criteria and must offer full time employment of over 30 hours per week, spanning at least 4 days per week.  


Full details on the scheme, jobseeker and employer eligibility and rates of payment are available in the link below.  


Work Placement Experience Programme

Hands-on experience counts for a great deal with employers.  The Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP) gives jobseekers who have never had a job an opportunity to gain experience, and those who have lost their job a chance to re-train and get experience in a new role while on a work placement.  The weekly rate of payment is €306.  


You must be aged 18–65, unemployed for at least 6 months and currently getting a qualifying social welfare payment.  The scheme is open to host organisations in the private, public, civil service, community and voluntary sectors.  For details of the WPEP and the eligibility requirements click on the button below.


Other back to work supports

Additional incentives and programes available to unemployed people looking to return to work or become self-employed include:

  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA)
  • Short-term Enterprise Allowance (STEA)
  • Part-time work and Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Part-time work and Jobseeker’s Benefit
  • Community Employment (CE)
  • TUS
  • Rural Social Scheme (RSS)
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