JobBridge Must Go: Impact Trade Union calls for the scheme to be ended after new data shows a number of high profile organisations have abused the programme in the past 5 years – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

JobBridge Must Go: Impact Trade Union calls for the scheme to be ended after new data shows a number of high profile organisations have abused the programme in the past 5 years




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The much hated JobBridge scheme must be scrapped sooner rather than later according to the Impact trade union. The union has called for the immediate dismissal of the internship service after new reports show that the scheme has been used to fill hundreds of positions for State agencies and multinational corporations.

According to statistics compiled by the Sunday Business Post the scheme as been highly abused in recent years, with the HSE being the most frequent user hiring 399 Jobbridge interns over the past five years since its inception.

The comprehensive data also found that other high profile organisations abused the scheme by hiring interns to work 30 to 40 hours a week for an extra €52.50 top up on their dole payments. The report found the GAA were second on the list when they hired 249 interns through the scheme, whilst world renowned IT company Hewlett-Packard came in third hiring a 176 JobBridge interns.

The report also found other high profile companies regularly use the JobBridge scheme to fill a number of top end positions which include legal executives and administrators, whilst the HSE scandalously used the programme to hire 67 assistant psychiatrists over the past 5 years.

The blatant abuse of the scheme has led to Impact Trade Union to issue a call for the scheme to be completely scraped and replaced with targeted programmes aimed at specific groups including unemployed early school leavers, graduates and the long-term unemployed.

The union’s deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said he fully believes reoccurring instances of abuse and exploitation by high profile employers have detracted from the successes of JobBridge, which was initiated with the aim of providing working experience for jobless individuals during a period of high unemployment.

Mr Callinian further explained: “There is no suggestion in the reports that any of the parties involved have used the scheme improperly, or to displace existing jobs.”

“Many of those who welcomed the scheme in 2011 have been troubled by the recurring reports of abuse and exploitation, which have dogged its reputation and greatly undermined its many positive outcomes,” “While the scheme undoubtedly served a useful purpose when youth unemployment and emigration was rocketing at the height of the economic crash, it’s now time to move on.

“We need to halt the growing culture of open labour market internships in our economy where, too often, internships are used to displace paid employment and drive down pay and working conditions.”

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