Some of you may have seen our logo stamped on the front of your letters lately which is just a little promo thing we have with An Post and sure it’s great if you can get it as they say. However this morning An Post printed it on the front of a postcard sent to Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU) from the ‘No Way Is Ireland Gay’ campaign which upset us and a lot of others too. We would like to categorically state we are in no way connected to this organisation because our logo was stamped on the front. It is unfortunate for us that it had to appear on his particular postcard but we hope that everyone knows us fairly well at this stage and knows that this rubbish wouldn’t come from us’. Thanks a mil.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny meets Ellen McGrath from Rathfarnham on his way from Krust Bakery, Aungier Street, Dublin after launching a campaign to “stand up for small businesses and self employed people across Ireland”.
Alex White [Minister for Communications] wants to keep the Six Nations free to air. A lot like the Brits with their [British] Open Golf (now sadly gone to Sky) or the Grand National these events hold a special place in our cultural spectrum and should be accessible on the national broadcaster for ‘free’. So serious question: why do [some in] Fine Gael prefer to sell it out?
“This morning I attended a mandatory group information session for jobseekers. I was delighted for the opportunity to raise several questions I had regarding JobBridge. I did not receive any satisfactory answers, other than “oh it’s not for everyone”. But what I found truly disgraceful was that, within minutes of my asking these questions, the speaker was providing information on emigration options, which I believe is the actual answer the department of social welfare has for young, unemployed people such as myself, namely “feck off abroad, we don’t want you here”.
I made a recording of my questions and the answers I received, including the reference to emigration. There is nothing truly inflammatory on the recording, but I found that mentioning emigration left a very sour taste in my mouth, and I’m hoping it will have the same effect on your readers.”
Speaker: “This may not suit everybody but there are some who have found it as a way to get relevant experience for when you come up against that barrier all the time with employers or at interviews, that you don’t have enough experience or relevant experience. Again, maybe you’re a person who’s …the course of studies or training and you’re finding it difficult to get work. Initially, to be eligible, you must be [inaudible]. The internship lasts for six or nine months. Again, you’re volunteering for this, so you’re not tied into a contract or anything. You can continue job seeking and if you get work, you give a week’s notice and then come off. So what happens here is you keep your social welfare payment, there’s a top-up of €50 a week. It will be arranged that this is paid into your bank account. So you’re not in signing or anything like that. You keep your social welfare payments, you get a top-up of €50.”
Jobseeker: “Can I just ask, the €50 top-up, that’s regardless of what your current entitlement is? It would just be a €50 top-up. Just cause I’m working it out myself here. So my current payment now is €37.60. So if I got an additional €50, that would be €87.60 for a 40-hour work week which would work out to €2.19 an hour. And I’m just wondering, is the Department of Social Welfare really telling people to work for €2.19 an hour?” For a 40-hour week in a full-time role?”
Speaker: “Well that’s voluntary so, as I said, we have, it’s not going to suit everybody. So, you know, there are some people who will see this and have seen it and we have people who monitor JobBridge and there are those who are getting employment out of it, or some time after it. So, as I said, it’s not going to suit everybody and this is where you have to look, yeah..weigh up the situation of what’s going to work…”
Jobseeker: ” Well even the maximum payment, if you’re on €188 and you get the extra €50, that works out at €5.95 an hour, which even then is below minimum wage. So I’m just wondering, is that like, who exactly is this suitable for?”
Speaker: “As [redacted] said, this is voluntary, OK?”
Jobseeker: “Yeah, I know that. I’ve done it myself, I did a 9-month one.”
Speaker: “[Inaudible] Some people have had not such a good experience with it. I’ve personally found it has worked for people… who are exiting education, so they’ve done their travels and they’ve done their bar work, and all, but they don’t have anything in their chosen discipline. And they have found that it really useful, they’ve gone into that company for nine months now…”
Jobseeker: “Well that is exactly what I did. I just finished my education and I was, I pretty much had no choice but to join JobBridge because there are no entry-level jobs, thanks to JobBridge. And I’ve done nine months and I’m still unable to find work and now my entitlements are being reduced and now I’m in a situation where I have to get more experience and I have to do it, except on €2.19 an hour, for and I’ve a third-level education.”
Speaker: “You don’t have to…”
Jobseeker: “Well my only other option is to not do it and then eventually be cut-off or continue to be unemployed perpetually.”
Speaker: “Once you’re actively seeking work you’ll never be cut off. That’s the only prerequisite as regarding your payment. You have to be available and actively seeking. You don’t have to be seeking JobBridge, you don’t have to be…once you’re available and actively seeking, that’s all, that’s all you need to do. As I said, you turn on Joe Duffy…I turn on Joe Duffy and, listen, there’s people on about it, you know and we are very, very aware of it. It works for some, we’re not saying it fixes everything but there is relatively high placement from it, OK?”
Speaker: “For anyone who’s considering moving to another part of Europe to find work, there are the contact details. There’s a network of advisors who throughout the EU and we have one here based in the city centre, in Bishop’s Square.”
Another speaker: “The reason for this session is information. This a level playing field, these are the things that are available to you, OK? You’ve no obligation to take anything on. As I said to the gentleman, you’re only obligation is to be available and actively seeking. All we’re saying is these are some of the supports that may or may not help you…We are trying our best, we’re not the bad guys, honestly.”
“Anyone out there looking for webdev job? You’ll get an extra €50 on your dole and work for a fine, up and coming company, Siteserv.”