JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Two thousand indigent persons are to benefit from a $600 million welfare-to-work programme, to be implemented over the next two years.
  • Cabinet recently approved this social welfare graduation strategy, targeting 1,000 families receiving social welfare support.
  • The strategy is intended to reduce the number of beneficiaries who receive welfare support.

Two thousand indigent persons are to benefit from a $600 million welfare-to-work programme, to be implemented over the next two years.

Making the announcement during his 2014/15 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on May 28, Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, informed that Cabinet recently approved this social welfare graduation strategy, targeting 1,000 families receiving social welfare support.

“The Government, in its drive to ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the productive workforce (is) making provision for the participation of working-aged adults in the labour market, who are from poor families in receipt of welfare assistance,” he said.

The strategy is intended to reduce the number of beneficiaries who receive welfare support; increase human capital accumulation among welfare families, enabling them to seek and retain employment and economic opportunities; and increase the ability of welfare families to respond to, and recover from shocks.

Mr. Kellier informed that the exercise will be carried out under the Steps-To-Work programme, where working-age members of poor families in receipt of welfare assistance will be enabled to seek and retain employment and economic opportunities through skills-training, job readiness preparation and access to employment or entrepreneurial opportunities.

He noted that individuals will also be assisted using the Ministry’s case management system, under which “resilience-standard” indicators have been developed to assist families recover from shock.

The Minister pointed out that these indicators assist families to develop the capacity to deal with a myriad of challenges on a daily basis “and, in pursuit of this objective, our social workers will be engaged to provide the necessary intervention to affect stability and prevent the drift of vulnerable members of society into deviant social behaviour.”

“In all of this, our aim is to empower our most vulnerable families to successfully transit from a state of dependency to a state of socio-economic independence. We want them to rely less on the benefits of welfare programmes by transitioning to being able to provide for themselves through their participation in the labour market,” he said.