Today (21 October 2016) the ESRI published new research examining training interventions provided in 2014 by the Local and Community Development Programme, now known as the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).
SICAP is managed by Pobal with the objective of tackling poverty, social exclusion and long-term unemployment through partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. As part of a programme operating from April 2015 to December 2017, 45 programme implementers have been contracted to deliver the goals of SICAP, covering 50 geographic areas across Ireland.
While SICAP performs a number of functions, this report investigated direct training interventions only, which include education and training programmes, personal development courses and labour market activation initiatives. SICAP provides such interventions for participants who experience barriers to inclusion, including household joblessness, low educational attainment and substance misuse, which may impede access to alternatives available from mainstream agencies.
The research examined a number of aspects of training provision, including the distribution of training courses and training expenditure across SICAP programme areas, whether the distribution of training provision delivers on the objectives of SICAP and the geographical variation in distribution of provision by population, level of deprivation, programme objectives and costs. The research also assessed if such training provision should be subject to formal evaluation.
The researchers examined information relating to 21,000 individuals who received training interventions in 2014. The data were taken from the Integrated Reporting Information System (IRIS) developed by Pobal to capture information about interventions and outcomes associated with SICAP. The main findings are listed below.
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