Who are we:

Kilbeggan Community Group is an umbrella body which represents 24 community and voluntary groups across South Westmeath. We work tirelessly alongside sponsors to help participants of the scheme gain meaningful practical experience, achieve relevant qualifications and training and offer them support and guidance as they work towards achieving their goals and developing their careers.

What is the Community Employment Scheme:

Community Employment is an employment programme funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, which helps long-term unemployed people to re-enter the active workforce by offering part-time and temporary placements within local voluntary communities and organisations.

By doing this they are providing the participants with meaningful practical experience and training opportunities to enhance and develop their technical and personal skills. Participants can avail of the possibility of studying to achieve major awards up to level 6 which are QQI accredited and tailored to suit the needs and career goals of any individual. After completing their placement, participants are encouraged to seek employment elsewhere based on the experience, the development of new skills and the qualifications they have gained.

Below is a excellent video from the Department of Social Protection on the benefits of Community Employment in your area.

Who is eligible:

In order to be eligible for C.E. a person must be in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for at least 6 months.


Aged 21 – 55 years:

In general, all CE placements for new entrants between 21 and 55 years will be for one year. However, if a CE participant is working towards achieving a major award/industry recognized equivalent, their time on CE can be extended by up to 2 further years to complete this award. No extension will be given beyond 3 years.

Aged 55 and over:

Following 12 months in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment, new entrants aged 55 years and over can remain on CE for a maximum of 3 consecutive years. It will be possible to re-qualify for CE after 12 months on a qualifying payment.

Aged 62 years and over:

Under the Service Support Stream, CE participants aged 62 years and over who meet the eligibility requirements may stay continuously on CE up to the age at which they qualify for a State pension providing that their are places available.

To find out if you are eligible you can contact your local Intreo office. Find your local Intreo office HERE.