Employment services for jobseekers

Who is a jobseeker?

Jobseekers can get employment support from the Department of Social Protection (DSP). You can get advice about looking for work, information on job vacancies and income support. To access this support contact your local Intreo Centre.

You are a jobseeker, if you are:

  • Getting Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Signing on for unemployment credits
  • Unemployed, but not eligible for a social welfare payment
  • Unemployed, looking for work and getting a social welfare payment

People getting Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance are usually given priority for employment supports.

If you are getting a jobseeker’s payment you may be required access to these supports through the DSP’s activation process – see ‘Jobseeker’s payments and activation’ below.

Services for jobseekers

The services and supports include:

  • A Training Support Grant (TSG) is available to jobseekers and people getting certain other payments. It is not available to people in JobPath. The TSG provides quick access to short-term training that is not immediately available from a State provider or that will help you get a job quickly. Your case officer can approve a grant under this scheme if it meets your identified needs (for example, as set out in your Personal Progression Plan).
  • A group engagement session with other jobseekers to give you an overview of the supports available. You are assigned to a group engagement session when you first sign on for a jobseeker’s payment.
  • Depending on your jobseeker profile one-to-one sessions with a DSP case officer to discuss employment opportunities, training courses, financial supports and other options which may lead to employment. If you are getting a jobseeker’s payment you will be given on-going appointments to monitor your progression towards employment, training or education.
  • A Jobseeker Information booklet that gives advice on CVs, job application letters, interviews, recruitment channels and the employment and training supports that may help you in your job search.
  • The Jobs Ireland website which lists jobs available in Ireland and abroad. It also lists internships and employment programme vacancies. You can input your CV to the Jobs Ireland database using the website. Employers can access these CVs through this database and contact you directly. You can also access the Jobs Ireland website via smart phone app, by calling 1800 611 116 and via the self-service kiosks located in an Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office.
  • Job Clubs which provide supports for jobseekers including a ‘drop in’ service and formal workshops. For information on Job Clubs contact your local Intreo Centre.
  • The online benefit of work estimator which can help you find out the financial outcome of taking up full-time work. It works out the total amount you would get taking up full-time work (including any Working Family Payment) and compares this to what you are getting in jobseeker payments (including Rent Supplement).
  • Access to information on job opportunities throughout Europe through Eures – the European Employment Services network .
  • You can also read about employment support schemes, returning to education and training, and supports for people wishing to take up self-employment .

Jobseeker’s payments and activation

If you are getting a Jobseeker’s payment you may have to participate in an activation programme.

The DSP describes activation as working with jobseekers to support them back into employment. Jobseekers are expected to fully engage and use the supports offered during the activation process. This can include education or training schemes or employment support schemes to help you back into the workplace or other supports.

People who do not engage with the activation process can have their jobseeker’s payment reduced and subsequently be disqualified from their payment for up to 9 weeks.

Jobseekers aged over 62 may not have to engage with the activation process.

Read more about the conditions that apply to your jobseekers’ payment.


JobPath is an employment activation programme that is intended to help jobseekers find and keep full-time employment. The DSP selects clients for JobPath on a random basis. You cannot apply to go on JobPath.

Supports from JobPath are aimed at people who are long-term unemployed and people who are newly unemployed, but who may need support to find work.

If you are selected for JobPath you will be referred to a JobPath company. There are two companies - Seetec and Turas Nua. You will be given a personal adviser who will assess your skills, work experience and work goals. The adviser will draw up a Personal Progression Plan with you. The Plan will include a series of activities and actions designed to help you get a job. These might include work experience, training and other relevant supports. You will be given career advice and helped with CV and interview skills. You can also get support and advice about starting your own business.

You keep your jobseeker's payment while on JobPath. The programme can last for a year (52 weeks). If you find a job, the Jobpath company will continue to work with you while you are in employment for up to a year. It will give you particular support during the first few weeks of employment.

If you are registered with Jobpath, you can apply for DSP employment support schemes such as Tús or Community Employment.

Depending on your Intreo Centre, while you are on JobPath you may sign on for your jobseeker's payment less often than before and in some situations you may not have to sign on at all.

Page edited: 28 November 2022