Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has welcomed the comments made by newly appointed Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan who pledged that he would do everything in his power to get rid of the JobBridge Scheme.
The JobBridge scheme was introduced in 2011, and offered interns 6 month or 9 month placements while allowing them to retain their social welfare entitlements.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“I welcome the comments made by Minister of State Halligan that JobBridge is a failure, has been abused and that he will do everything he can do to get rid of it.
“While technically JobBridge falls under the remit of Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, it is encouraging to know that Deputy Halligan will be applying pressure on him to scrap this scheme which has been so open to exploitation and reduced the availability of real job opportunities.
“JobBridge interns have even been taken on by Government Departments, in the past but sadly not one of them has been kept on after completing their intern placements.
“At the launch of the JobBridge programme the then Minister for Social Protection expressed hope that some employers would find talented and motivated interns and make the decision to offer employment to their intern. In other words, the period of internship would be a job interview for a longer period that would lead to employment.”
Deputy Crowe said that the move to scrap the much maligned employment programme proves that his party were correct in their decision to oppose it from the get go.
“Since its introduction Sinn Féin has been calling for the bogus jobs scheme to be abolished. Last year we published a document outlining exactly how the ‘one-size-fits-all’ JobBridge scheme could be replaced by tailored internships which would allow for meaningful learning opportunities.
“The new government now have a real opportunity to look again at these labour activation schemes. To actively support those seeking employment, training and looking for real and living wage jobs.”