Tag Archives: review


From top: Joan Burton and Enda Kenny at a JobBridge announcement in 2013; Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Indecon review of JobBridge yesterday at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin

Long live the new scam!

This morning.

Further to the announcement by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar yesterday that JobBridge is to be wound down and that it will be replaced with another scheme next year – the details of which have yet to be released…

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, presenter Cathal MacCoille spoke to Alan Gray, economist and managing director of Indecon Consultants – which carried out a review of JobBridge and recommended it be changed.

From their discussion:

Cathal MacCoille: “First of all, JobBridge, how good was it for how many?”

Alan Gray: “It’s a very interesting evidence-based survey, Cathal, it was done by a team of Irish and international experts… and what it showed was very high levels of progression to employment. Now, those people previously unemployed, who were on JobBridge, have now found jobs.”


Gray: “64%.”

MacCoille: And that’s high is it?”

Gray:It’s extremely high.”

MacCoille: “How many of those, that’s good for them, but can you figure out how much of that was due to the pick up of the economy anyway, or because of them being on JobBridge?

Gray:That’s a critical issue and, as part of the analysis, a very detailed econometric research was done to compare how that group did, compared with a counterfactual of what would have happened anyway. And the result…”

MacCoille: “Let’s stop for a moment. You compared a controlled group who were on JobBridge, with a controlled group who weren’t?”

Gray: “Exactly.”

MacCoille: “And found what?”

Gray: “And it showed that JobBridge enhanced the probability of getting a job by 32%. That’s probably the highest impact on employment of any labour market programme.”

MacCoille: “How do you get to that conclusion?”

Gray: “Basically, what you do is you control for all other factors, it’s like a scientific experiment, Cathal, it’s like medical research. Where you get an exactly similar group on the labour market, who were unemployed, you track their employment outcomes and you compare it with those on JobBridge and you make sure its statistically robust and it showed that JobBridge had really a quite surprisingly positive impact on employment progression.”

MacCoille: “And yet, you’re, this study comes down for a replacement. Why?”

Gray: “It does, I think the merits of giving the levels of subsidy that the State gave for JobBridge – in a labour market where unemployment is much different than when this scheme was introduced has changed. There was also a number of very positive aspects of JobBridge but some areas of dissatisfaction…”

MacCoille: “With the money particularly?”

Gray: “Particularly.”

MacCoille: “No surprise.”

Gray: “No surprise on that, yeah.”

MacCoille: “Now, so, because there is going to be consultation before this, the precise terms and conditions, as I said, of this are announced for the new year. What, from what you’ve, this study, what would you recommend?”

Gray: “So the Indecon economists have recommended a much more targeted scheme. One where employers enhance skills – most employers already enhance skills as part of JobBridge but we want to ensure that a greater proportion of interns are learning new skills. We also want to ensure a lower level of State subsidy and contributions from employers, who are also benefiting…”

MacCoille:Because there was none on this scheme...”

Gray:There was none at all.”

MacCoille: “And you’re saying it should be what?”

Gray: We’re saying that employers should at least pay the top-up level which was €52 and that, after three months, all interns must receive at least the minimum wage.”

MacCoille: “Which is €9.25 an hour.”

Gray: “Exactly.”

MacCoille:What about, because this came up with JobBridge constantly and you can guess it will come up with whatever replaces it – regulation, investigation, ensuring that the spirit of the thing is actually the reality for everyone?”

Gray: “I think that was important, particularly in a scheme that was so large and was almost an emergency measure to the level of unemployment. It was hard to ensure adequate monitoring.”

MacCoille: “And was there enough?”

Gray: “I don’t think so, Cathal. It was understandable because the scheme was being introduced in a crisis period, it had a lot of benefits and interns but we’re recommending a more targeted scheme, probably a lower number of participants but more active monitoring and control.”

MacCoille: “The new scheme, as I understand it, would be the medium and long-term unemployed?”

Gray: “That hasn’t been decided yet. One of the benefits of the existing scheme is it was early intervention so that people, as soon as they became unemployed, once they were unemployed for a short period, they got the benefits of JobBridge – that kept them close to the labour market and probably enhanced the employment market.”

MacCoille: “Just coming back to the regulation issue…”

Gray: “Yeah.”

MacCoille: “…which is key. In terms of the way the, even the way the thing is regarded by everybody – quite apart from people who may have, you know, are losing out because they’re getting a hard time, they’re not getting what they should get out of the scheme – so, how should the regulation be better?

Gray: “I think case officers from the Department of Social Protection should monitor it at a number of points during the internship at the start, during the internship and at the end. But I think the regulation aspect has got more media attention than it actually deserves, Cathal. While there were problems, it wasn’t the major issue and 70% of interns experienced that they had quality work experience and that’s different than some anecdotal evidence that was reported in the media. And one thing to say on that is our research surveyed over 10,000 interns. So it wasn’t just a random bits of feedback and most interns were very satisfied/.”

MacCoille: “Sure, I suppose though, the problem is, if you’re one of the dissatisfied ones – and you’ve good reason to be dissatisfied, well then, that’s for you. That’s a real personal setback. And therefore, we need to ensure that that doesn’t happen, in so far as we can.”

Gray: “I fully accept that, Cathal. And that’s why we’ve recommended a tightening of eligibility criteria. A contribution from employers which will minimise the possibility of rogue employers using it and also enhanced monitoring.”

MacCoille: “And give them a greater investment in the thing – if they’re putting some of their own money into it.”

Gray: “Exactly.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: JobBridge on Broadsheet


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The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church has today published its final tranche of reviews – 30 in total – of child safeguarding practice within certain orders and congregations.

The NBSCCC is a church-run organisation and reviews are done on an invitation basis.

Among the 30 orders or congregations reviewed were the Blessed Sacrament Fathers; the Brothers of Charity; Hospitaller Order Of Saint John of God; the Marist Brothers; and the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei – all of whom had allegations made against them.

The following four orders or congregations – the Society of St Paul; the Society of Divine Saviour (Salvatorians); the Daughters of the Cross of Liege; and the Comboni Missionaries Of The Heart of Jesus – also had allegations made against them but, according to the NBSCCC, no longer have a ministry with children in Ireland.

The 30 reviews  – which can be accessed here – related to complaints made between January 1, 1975 and the period of the review which began in December 2015.

Overall, the reviews found there 288 allegations made against 90 priests, brothers or sisters with just 10 criminal convictions arising from those complaints.

The allegations relate to the period between 1950 and 2002 with one incident in 2013.

In relation to the Society of Divine Saviour (Salvatorians), the NBSCCC found the following in relation to a now deceased priest, referred to only as Fr A:

“Information received from the Salvatorians, indicate that there was one priest who ministered in Ireland against whom there were allegations of child sexual abuse. According to the Salvatorian case file, there is knowledge of 9 named children who were abused by Fr. A.”

“However, behind the small numbers recorded is this one case of a prolific, long term abuser of children, there is information on file which suggests, by his own admission Fr. A had abused in excess of 100 children, mostly girls in the age range 6 years to 9 years of age, in various parts of Ireland; but Fr. A did not provide the names of these children when making this admission.”

“Fr. A served as a Salvatorian priest from the time of his ordination in the 1950s to the time of his death, in 2009.”

“He worked as a teacher and a seminary lecturer in the UK, a member of the General Council of the Order in Rome, a parish priest in an Australian and in a Dublin parish, and as a congregational archivist and hospital Chaplain in Rome.”

His abuse began early in his priesthood and lasted at least until 2004.”

Fr. A was accused in 2002 by a female relative of abusing her when she was a child; and from reviewing the case files this appears to be the first allegation that was made known to the congregation.”

“While it is difficult from the written records to be completely sure of when his Provincial was first made aware of this allegation, Fr. A was withdrawn by the then Provincial from his parish in Dublin in December 2002.”

“By that time Fr. A had been assessed, though it is noted that Fr. A had arranged this assessment himself. The advice of the assessing professional was that, while the abuse alleged did happen, it was probably a once-off event.”

“He did however state that it would probably be wise not to allow Fr. A to have ministry that allowed him access to children. The Provincial wrote to the Archbishop of Dublin informing him that he was withdrawing Fr. A from the parish, and he implied that this was due to the stress of his responsibilities there.”

“The Provincial however did not inform the Archbishop of the real reason for withdrawing the priest; and he subsequently arranged for him to take up a position in the congregation’s archives at the congregation’s Motherhouse in Rome.”

“…As nobody in Rome had been made aware that there were child protection concerns about Fr. A, he was not supervised in any way while he worked in Rome.”

“To date the congregation has not received any allegations relating to Fr. A’s time spent in Rome as an archivist and hospital chaplain.”

“It is recorded that Fr. A returned in May 2004 on holidays to the Dublin parish from which he had previously been withdrawn, and that he said Mass and mixed with parishioners there. It is not recorded on file whether this was Fr. A’s only visit to Ireland following his posting to Rome in early 2003.”

“The Salvatorians are currently investigating an allegation from a woman who was abused as a child by a priest in that Dublin parish in 2004; during which time Fr. A was back on holidays ministering in the parish; it has not been confirmed that the respondent priest was Fr A.”

“…Fr. A was convicted of child sexual abuse in December 2007. The case related to his abuse of ‘several girls over a 25-year period. He was given a custodial sentence of four years with all but 18 month suspended.”

Fr. A was released from prison in early 2009… He died later that year.”

The NBSCCC found the following 19 orders or congregations had no allegations made against them while they have no or limited ministry with children in Ireland: Alexian Brothers; Benedictine Monks – Stamullen; Franciscans Conventual; Franciscan Renewal – Limerick and Derry; Marianists; Sons of Divine Providence; Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre; Blessed Sacrament Sisters;  Carmelites – Aged and Infirm – Dalkey; Carmelites – Enclosed – x 10; Clarissian Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament; Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Littlehampton; Franciscan Missionaries of Mary; Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady; Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; La Retraite Sisters; Missionaries of Charity – NON CORI; Missionary Sisters of St Peter Claver; Poor Clares – Enclosed x 6.

Review of Child Safeguarding Practice in the Society of the Divine Saviour (Salvatorians) (NBSCCCCI)

30 Review Reports on Child Safeguarding Practice, (May 4, 2016)

Earlier: ‘There Was No Cover-Up At All’

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Nama chairman Frank Daly and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at a formal review of the Nama’s operations this morning

RTÉ reports:

The report finds NAMA is ahead of schedule and anticipates being in a position to dispose of its assets more quickly than originally envisaged.

The agency is expected to have paid back more than 80% of its senior debt of €30.2bn by 2016, two years ahead of target.

NAMA should be able to repay its debt – Department of Finance (RTÉ)

Read the full 52-page review here

Via Merrion Street