UNEMPLOYED workers will take up new positions in local authorities from early next year, carrying out environmental works including drainage schemes and outdoor maintenance.
The Government plans to pay up to 3,000 workers an additional €20 a week for up to 22 months to carry out services which city and county councils cannot currently deliver, the Irish Independent has learned.
Some 351 people have already been referred for garda vetting under the 'Gateways Initiative', and the first placements have already commenced.
The initiative has been agreed with unions, and is designed to support councils in meeting local demands for improvements. Workers who refuse to engage in the initiative face the prospect of social welfare payments being reduced, or having payments suspended.