Employment services for jobseekers


The Department of Social Protection (DSP) provides employment support and advice to jobseekers nationwide.

Jobseekers include people who are getting a jobseeker’s payment, people who are signing for credits and people who are unemployed but not eligible for a payment. However, priority is generally given to people getting a jobseeker’s payment.

All DSP employment services offices are now Intreo Centres.

Intreo provides a one-stop shop for employment services and income supports with a range of personalised supports to jobseekers. In your local Intreo Centre you can get jobseeking advice, information on job vacancies and income support (your weekly payment) all in one place. Details of locations are published on welfare.ie.

Find out what happens when you sign on for a jobseeker’s payment at an Intreo Centre.

If you do not have a local Intreo Centre you can make a claim for a jobseeker's payment at your local Social Welfare Branch Office and you can register for employment services at your Local Employment Service (LES) office.

What is activation?

Labour market activation policies are designed to give jobseekers a better chance of finding employment. The Department of Social Protection describes activation as its engagement with jobseekers to support them back into employment. Jobseekers are expected to fully engage with this process and use the supports offered during the activation process which might include education or training schemes, employment support schemes to help them back into the workplace, internships and other supports.

People who do not engage with the activation process may have their payment reduced and can 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 retain 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 intensive 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 assigned to a personal adviser who will assess your skills, work experience and work goals. The adviser will draw up a Personal Progression Plan with you which 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 preparation. You can also get support and advice about starting your own business.

You keep your jobseeker's payment while on JobPath. Generally the programme lasts 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 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 local arrangements, while you are on JobPath you may sign on for your jobseeker's payment less often than at present or, in some situations, you may not have to sign on at all.

Services available to jobseekers

Employment services are available to all EEA nationals. If you are from outside the EEA you should contact your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office to check your eligibility. You need a Personal Public Services (PPS) number to register for employment services. In some cases you will be directed to these supports through the Department’s activation process. If you are not claiming a payment or are not engaged in activation (for example, if you are over 62) you can also access some of these supports directly, although in some cases priority may be given to people getting a jobseeker’s payment. 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 JobPath participants. 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) and is not available from another State provider.

  • 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 practical advice on CVs, job application letters, interviews, recruitment channels and summarises 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 a jobseeker 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.

  • The online benefit of work estimator which can help you assess out the financial consequences of taking up full-time work. The Reckoner works out the total amount you would receive on 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 .

Page edited: 5 January 2022