Deputy Michael Lowry has expressed concerns with regards to some of the positions advertised as part of the JobsBridge scheme.
The Independent Deputy for Tipperary questioned the classification of some of the jobs available as internships and voiced his disquiet that some of the positions may be taking advantage of individuals who are unemployed whilst also depriving a qualified individual of the position.
Deputy Lowry stated;
“It is my understanding that the Jobsbridge programme was designed to facilitate people to get a start in a job and gain some valuable experience in their field. It is designed to give a practical experience to participants and an opportunity to learn in a working environment. In recent times a number of people have complained to me that highly qualified positions, rather than internships, are being filled through Jobsbridge. I have seen highly qualified individuals with comprehensive experience being turned down for jobs only for the same company later take on an intern to fill the role.”
“It is highly questionable to me to have positions such a solicitor or full time teaching position advertised on Jobsbridge. It is exploitative to take on a highly qualified position in this role and not pay what can reasonably be expected. It is a cost saving measure and a way of accessing cheaper labour rather than helping someone get a start in a position. It is simply serving to massage the unemployment figures rather than help people made a start to their career. It similarly disadvantages the qualified individual who does not qualify under the Jobsbridge scheme. It is impossible for them to compete when employers can classify the position as an intern and take an intern on at a greatly reduced rate.”
“I am calling on the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. to take action on this issue and to ensure that closer regulation is introduced to ensure that only genuine intern positions are advertised on the Jobsbridge scheme.”