minister for Employment and Learning, Danny Kennedy, has responded to Moyle District Council who asked for an outreach facility in Ballycastle for jobseekers.
In a letter, Mr Kennedy said: ‘I understand the difficulties faced by Jobseekers in the current economic climate and how the distances they are required to travel for benefit purposes can in some instances add to those difficulties.
‘Allowing customers to satisfy benefit conditions by post is currently our main way of dealing with this issue. I understand that staff in local officers are directed to offer ‘postal’ status to all who qualify without waiting for the jobseeker to ask.
‘Local managers make decisions on which area are beyond the one-hour travel and four-hour absence limit. I can assure that, within the constraints of a severely limited budget, my Department is actively working on service improvements for customers.
‘You will be aware that I recently announced an extension of the Local Employment Intermediary Service LEMIS to the Moyle District Council area. I expect LEMIS to be available in July and when that service is functioning property the Department will give further consideration as to how it might use LEMIS facilities to provide other services to customers in the area,” said the letter from Mr Kennedy.