Private sector operators of the Government’s new JobPath scheme are to be paid a sequence of “job-sustainment fees” based on the length of time they keep people at work.

The programme which targets the 164,000 long-term unemployed people on the Live Register, has been controversially outsourced to two recruitment firms Turas Nua and Seetec.

Both recruitment firms will be paid an initial registration fee for signing up candidates and then up to four “job-sustaiment fees ( paid retrospectively for each 13 week period of accumulated employment of at least 30 hours a week).

The payments are designed to ensure the firms remain incentivised to find people sustainable jobs.

Depending on the number of referrals, the programme is expected to cost the Irish Government between €200 million to €340 million over the next six years.

The Government hopes it will make savings on jobseekers’ payments of €315 million to €525 million.