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Social policy review 27Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015$
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Zoë Irving, Zoë Irving, Menno Fenger, and John Hudson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322771

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322771.001.0001

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What variety of employment service quasi-market? Ireland’s jobpath as a private power market

What variety of employment service quasi-market? Ireland’s jobpath as a private power market

Chapter:
(p.151) Eight What variety of employment service quasi-market? Ireland’s jobpath as a private power market
Source:
Social policy review 27
Author(s):

Jay Wiggan

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447322771.003.0008

Since 2011 the Fine-Gael-Labour Coalition Government in Ireland has introduced a series of social security and employment service reforms to strengthen labour market activation. This has included introduction of a new one-stop shop (Intreo) integrating benefit and employment assistance and a new employment service quasi-market (JobPath) for the long term unemployed. This chapter focuses on unpacking Ireland’s new JobPath which, like Britain’s Work Programme, operates a payment-by-results system with delivery managed by large contracted-out return to work providers. The market is premised upon financial incentives and state oversight as the means to achieve higher job outcomes and guarantee equitable access and service quality. As is common to many employment service quasi-markets JobPath service users lack meaningful options of market exit or choice. Drawing on the conceptual framework developed by Gingrich (2011) to analyse how different quasi-markets prioritise the interests of different market and political actors the chapter positions JobPath as privileging provider interests.

Keywords:   marketisation, activation, unemployment, contracting out, choice, competition

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