‘We’re Not The Bad Guys’

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Jobseeker writes:

“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?”

Later

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.”

Later

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.”

Thanks Jobseeker

Meanwhile…

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Derek writes:

“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.”

Web Developer (JobBridge)

Thanks Derek

57 thoughts on “‘We’re Not The Bad Guys’

    1. Joe the Lion

      No it isn’t.

      It’s a form of exploitation plain and simple.

      It’s disgusting, discriminatory and disfiguring the actual real jobs market as the poster succinctly points out.

      The person giving out this “information” is scum and I wouldn’t hesitate to bury him into the wall if I had to listen to this crap. See- Drogg – you’re not the only one out there mate ;)

      1. Mark Dennehy

        I think you missed the irony.
        To clarify: if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well; and if it’s worth doing well it’s worth paying for; and if it takes 39 hours a week to do, it’s worth paying a living wage for.
        And there’s nothing wrong with internships. It’s just that they’re supposed to be a paid position where you learn stuff, not a way around paying the legal minimum wage, especially when you’re looking for experienced people to do a professional job…

        1. Joe the Lion

          Ah no I didn’t but in my haste to spout out some badly thought out venom I duly ignored it

  1. dhaughton99

    I have one of these meetings next week. Looking forward to it. Prepping my material at the moment. How long did it go on for?

    1. smoothlikemurphys

      From the looks of the transcript, it would appear that Jobseeker, bizarrely kept up the particular brand of whingeing and asking multiple versions of the same questions that pretty much any sane person knows the answer to for quite a long time – I’d bring a flask of tae.

  2. Irish3615

    As the speaker said JobBridge is voluntary and the Jobseeker does not have to apply for an internship if he/she does not wish to. Yes it can be seen as working for below the minimum wage but it has other prospects of getting your foot in the door and hopefully acquiring future employment.

    1. Rowsdower

      Getting your foot in the door is a nice concept when there isn’t a hearty supply of free labour to take your job if you have the audacity to suggest you should get paid for your work after nine months.

      1. SweetPeteato

        The statistics are rough reading but it’s still 9 months experience in your field of study you didn’t have before. It is what it is

        1. Mark Dennehy

          No, it’s nine months you’ve wasted working for nothing in a job that will flag your CV in every HR department as “Will Work For Less Than Market Average Wages”.

          Good luck with that career…

          1. Mark Dennehy

            I mean, if you’re going to go work for nothing, why not just claim the dole and volunteer with a charity? You’d be doing work that actually helps someone, you cost the charity nothing, and if a future employer says “what did you do for this block of time?” you can say you volunteered with Simon or the Samaritans or at a food bank or whatever instead of saying you did nothing, or worse still, that you valued your time so poorly that you sold it for less than the legal minimum rate.

          2. SweetPeteato

            Because I want experience in my field of study. I don’t need experience helping people, I already know how to do that if I ever need to.

    2. ionabike

      And let’s not forget the benefits for reputable companies like the write down/public contract munching siteserv who can whip up webdevs for no money. It’s quite disgusting, corporate welfare disguised as a helping hand. Hard to believe Labour are behind this disgrace

  3. Just sayin'

    Asking questions you already know the answer to just to prove a point. Isn’t that what lawyers do?

  4. Just sayin'

    Maybe Jobseeker can’t find work because of his dickish attitude.

    Eurostat show Ireland’s unemployed at 9.9% now. Lots of people are finding jobs. He’s part of a shirking minority and maybe he needs to look at himself and ask why.

    1. scottser

      having a dickish attitude is not a barrier to employment. most places i’ve worked have at least a 60% quotient of dicks.

    2. Mark Dennehy

      You know you can get unemployment from 15% to 10% through means other than getting people back to work, right JS?

      Like, I don’t know, telling them to emigrate at jobseeking sessions?

    3. Zaccone

      9.9%…. not including those on Jobsbridge, who aren’t counted as unemployed. Or those who aren’t claiming Social Welfare. Both of which would bump it up. In addition to the massive amount of young people who’ve emigrated in the last 5 years, due to no job prospects here.

          1. TheDude

            ‘Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don’t know how people who engage in that don’t commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something,’

    4. Rowsdower

      How much of that 5% drop accounts for emigration and hiding true unemployment(Jobsbridge) figures.

      1. CT

        From memory, emigration since 2008 stands somewhere in the region (officially) at around 80k – but it’s important to remember that not everyone who emigrates is unemployed. 50% I think the IT suggested a while back were in full-time employment.

        Work in the digital sector myself, and there’s plenty of jobs going, not as many as there were. But it depends on the industry as much as the jobseeker. No doubt things are still bad, but they’re getting better.

    5. ionabike

      You’d think he’d just feck off and emigrate and let the likes of sitserv suck the fat. So inconsiderate

    6. curmudgeon

      Yes well you’ll find that the employment rate is skewed as the unemployed continue to emigrate. Sincerely missing a hell of a lot of my family and friends here.

  5. SweetPeteato

    Jobseeker can’t get a job with current level of experience (has 3rd level degree). Government offers experience. Jobseeker get 9 months worth and still can’t get a job. Jobseeker has other problems. One of which is that he is living off 37 odd bob a week, I’d take the 50 quid.

    1. Rowsdower

      How is someone going to get a job if the Government has made it legal for employers to take on people at below minimum wage?

      1. SweetPeteato

        Because the person with experience becomes more valuable to the company than the person without experience.

          1. SweetPeteato

            Depends what kind of labour. If for example an accountant hires an intern, trains him,the intern builds a relationship both with the other staff and clients it is unlikely that the employer would chuck him out after 9 months and look for someone else. Now it’s different if it’s a job like a sandwich artist in subway but that is an abuse of the programme. Jobbridge works when used properly by both companies and jobseekers

          2. Eliot Rosewater

            It’s not just the Subway ‘artist’ jobs that are making a mockery of the JobsBridge programme. I did 9 months and got experience in my chosen level of work (I had recently graduated from a Masters course) and thought it was great. But I quickly realised that the company were simply using a stream of JobsBridgers to do the job of the person that they hadn’t replaced a few years ago. And guess what? Trying to get a job in that particular area is incredibly difficult because, yep, everyone is hiring JobsBridgers to do those jobs.

            In the end, I got lucky by knowing somebody who worked in the industry, did a trial period, and am now (2 and a half years after graduating) just getting in to full-time work.

            Any work that’s worth doing should be paid properly for it. And there are very, very few jobs that require any kind of internship.

  6. Dubloony

    They listed varioius options and pointed out where help was available.
    I remember emigration in the 80s. People upped sticks without much research, a bed to stay in or the most basic preparation. So poinitng out that there is help can go some way in avoiding sleeping rough in Londaon (yes, it happened).

    Working 40 hours for €2somehting is immoral. A labourer is worhty of their hire, even if they are trianing or new entrants.
    However, its easier to move from a place if you are doing something everyday (meeting people, widening circle, showing some effort, gaining experience) than sitting at home doing nothing. No-one says you have to stay for the 9 months and its not compulsory.

    Its not easy, its difficult to get started. that’s what jobbridge was supposed ot be about.

  7. Kolmo

    If you work for free – you’ll never be unemployed as an ol’ tobacco plantation owner once probably said

  8. Zarathustra

    I know they say JobBridge positions are voluntary, but I was of the impression that your payment will be cut off or reduced, if you decide not to take the position on offer; regardless of whether it suits your experience, skills or location.

  9. diddy

    Lets have a bit of sympathy for the under 25’s here. theyre getting no luck. I recently was part of a jobsbridge hiring process. We had 3 types of CV’s . 1 new grads 2. recent grads with some experience 3. Hail mary applicantions. Bin category 3 and you’ve got a guy whos never had a job and a guy who has experience but cant get a job cos all the near entry level jobs are now internships.. Who do you hire? the guy with the experience.. The grad gets shafted.

    From a jobseeker point of view.. To take up the scheme they need support from family.. housing and extra cash.. No good to the lad from Birr. the entry level job has been destroyed by jobsbridge and replaced with a new step on your career ladder, 9 months of slavery.. Its BS no matter what way you look at it.

  10. rotide

    Speaking as someone who worked for free and for less money than job bridge to get experience and a foot in the door i can safely say that not only are a lot of folk on this thread full of crap but the jobseeker in question is a prat too.

    1. curmudgeon

      Did it take nine months to get your foot in the door? Who supported you along the way? Did you displace a previous incumbent?

  11. munkifisht

    After three years of trying to get my career off the ground I had to emigrate due to JobBridge. Before I did, I was told by employers to quit the job I had and sign on if I had any chance of ever getting into my chosen industry (in which I had qualified with an MSc and come top of my class). JobBridge was supposed to make it easier for people who didn’t have experience to get a job. I had 4 years experience before the crash made me decide to go back to uni to get MSc.

    Absolute. F*$kin. Slavetrade.

  12. PPads

    Back in the day, emigration was a necessity and the media coverage during and post boom seen a compliant sharp rise. It was and is a means of releasing the political pressure value on the status quo. I wouldn’t be too hard on FÁS workers. They partied just like the rest of except now they actually have to do some work. Give them another ten years to readjust?

  13. brownbull

    I’d like the contributor to provide the context for the advice in relation to moving to Europe – it’s a bit disingenuous to not provide the context in which the advice was given – was it on foot of a specific question?

  14. BabyJesus

    I would definitely employ this ‘Jobseeker’ in my fast food restaurant. That massive chip on his shoulder would come in handy if we ran out of French fries.

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