Frank About Free Labour



Frank Gleeson (left) with Joan Burton


On Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Keelin Shanley discussed JobBridge with Frank Gleeson, chairman of Retail Ireland and Managing Director at Aramark Food Services, and Laura Duggan, from Work Must Pay.

Mr Gleeson quoted figures he said came from the Department of Social Protection. To wit:

“[We’ve had] 17,500 host organisations. We’ve had 55% of internships advertised have been filled – so that’s a huge success. And we’ve almost had 42,000 people, young jobseekers, actually commence JobBridge with 37,000 completing it. And if you look at the progression from that, almost after 5 months, I think something like 60 per cent of them have gone on to get full-time or employment generally.”


Laura Duggan, from Work Must Pay, responded:

“Well according to the National Youth Council of Ireland, only 27% of JobBridge, people who complete JobBridge, actually go on and complete full-time employment. The rest of them end up in temporary, part-time or seasonal work.”

We don’t see [JobBridge] as the root of all evil or anything, it’s just a symptom of  much broader problems that are facing workers and unemployed people and young people in general.

But it’s a deeply, deeply flawed system when you’re talking about combating youth unemployment and when you’re talking about the likes of job replacement and job displacement.

JobBridge is being used by the likes of the HSE, all levels of Government and even the guards. People go in and do their nine-month internship with these companies, they’re not going to get work because there’s an employment embargo, it’s being used to fill, paper over cracks essentially by these groups.

We have companies, where we’ve protested, that have a track record of advertising for entry-level positions right up until the introduction of JobBridge in 2011. All these entry-level positions are no longer publicly advertised – you have to do your nine-month JobBridge before they’ll offer you it. You can’t go in to these companies any other way, you have to do your nine months of free labour.”


Listen back here

Previously: You Pay Noodles

Work Must Pay

35 thoughts on “Frank About Free Labour

  1. meadowlark

    And that right there is the root of the problem with JobBridge. The idea is not bad but poorly implemented and poorly monitored. If it had been done well it could have been an excellent means of encouraging people in unemployment to reskill and develop experience.

    But it hasn’t and no amount of fudging the figures can hide it. It has become a scam and it is disgraceful that the government are attempting to defend it.

    1. 15 cents

      yea exactly .. unfortunately its the hands of the governement, and was designed by them .. so it was doomed from the get-go

      1. meadowlark

        I loathe bringing this up but IW is another prime example. Most people are not averse to payment for water. it makes sense, exactly like JobBridge, but it has been disasterously handled and riddled with a lack of transparency and competent management.

        It’s the calling card of the government.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    Frank Gleeson says… I “think”… and gets his figs from JobBridge

    Laura Duggan says… “according to” …and gets her figs independently

    Who should I believe… oooooohhhh, I just don’t know……. shurrrrup Frank, you’re shilling for the gubbiment !

    1. timble

      Indecon study of 4,400 participants versus NYCI study of less than 100 self selected off twitter. But don’t let actual evidence or data get in the way of your assumptions or anecdotes

    2. classter

      So Clampers, you base credibility of a study or set of figure based entirely on whether it comes from the govt or not?

    3. Clampers Outside!

      Hi Timble, I stand corrected on the ‘independent’ bit, and it not being robust enough, thanks.

      Yes Classter, I do take heed of the source of info. And when spouting how great something is, is coming from the creators of it, yeah, I do treat it with a very, very large pinch of salt and skepticism.

      1. cluster's deranged alter ego

        Surely advocacy groups have an incentive to pick & choose figures just like a politician defending their record does?

  3. klm

    mate of mine who had ten years work experience with eng firm before been laid off was forced to take a jobbridge job that required 2 buses to get to. He quit after a couple of months “making tea” for less experienced people when he got a real paying job. According to job bridge he’s one of their successes!

  4. Notsayin

    Labour are ruined as a party as “Panty Christ” pointed out, thanks to its own self inflicted thousand cuts. Whats depressing is, it has been destroyed by a bunch of old farts with no more will or political energy beyond staying at the pig trough. Leaving the country with even fewer options going into the future.

    1. martco

      exactly this

      I recently went on one of the 1916 walking tours….the one where he talked more about the events surrounding the rising before and after, Larkin and WM Murphy and all that and it was a very enjoyable thing to do but unlike the oblivious tourists walking with us it left a bitter taste too as I listened and made the comparisons. ah well…cue the inevitable morkeshing (electioneering) routine coming soon at least that will give us a bit of a laugh…..a bit like this I’m guessing:


      thanks for killing Labour you self-interested carreer fupping trough-loving asshats

  5. Truth in the News

    This scheme is a cheap labour concept, to take advantage of a willing
    workforce at a mere cost of 50 euro a week, with the tax payer picking
    up the rest of the cost, if a complaint is made at european level it will
    have to be abanoned as its an aid to employers….how many of the
    offspring of the leading grus of IBEC, ISME even the IFA are availing
    of this scheme……none, this scheme are designed for those who have
    no voice and are vulnerable….we need a full published list of the concerns
    involved in the scheme, and the establishment of a class action to make
    those availed of the cheap employment scheme to pay the full going rate
    What have the Jack O Connors and done about this, there is no huge
    logo draping Liberty Hall condemming it.

    1. Seriously

      “at a mere cost of 50 euro a week, with the tax payer picking
      up the rest of the cost,”

      The taxpayer pays that extra €50 too, not the employer.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      Actually, the taxpayer takes up the FULL cost. The €50 is paid by the government so the employer pays nothing and that’s why it’s so tempting for employers. They get free shelf stackers, car washers and sandwich fillers instead of paying someone min wage for 20 – 40 hours a week. They get people with honours degrees to design and maintain websites while they’re “supervised” and “mentored” by someone with no computer skills.

      It’s a rotten scam that really boils my pee… and I’m in full time employment. I just feel so angry for people being exploited by this sham because if it didn’t exist, employers would have to actually pay staff to do these jobs and there’d be a more realistic idea of what the unemployment figures really are.

  6. phil

    Free Labour! . Don’t tell me that the Labour party have got themselves trapped in a car somewhere again ?

  7. 15 cents

    labour keep bleating about what a success it is, instead of listening to the people who’ve actually used jobsbridge, and then fixing the problems. i did a jobsbridge internship for some total cowboys a few years back and they asked for feedback, and i wrote back telling them how this company were ridin the system and to block them from taking on more.. sure of course i heard nothin back, and they kept doin their thing until they finally folded and re-opened as another charlatan outfit. also, i used to look for jobs on fas, and as soon as jobbridge came in, literally ALL the paid jobs all turned to jobsbridge free work jobs. they’ll never listen or care for that matter, because as we all know, this government favour the rich .. so theyre happy to supply them with free labour, and not care about the people having to do it, coz sure we’re only the little guys.. well the little guys vote, and labour are done, id hope FG will be gone too. sick of readin in the paper about what parties might join what parties for a coalition government, the different combos, i dont want any of yee. social dems are the only ones who seem to have their heads screwed on and want to work for us, all the rest are complete jokers. ya read stuff like, oh it could be FF and FG, or FF and renua, but FG could go in with FF blah blah blah fupp off, none of those should even be options after what theyve combined to do to this country. shower of pigs.

  8. Mr. T.

    Big finance company in Limerick are abusing Jobbridge wholesale.

    They make people work late without extra pay and after the 9 month term, offer jobs at slightly above minimum wage which had previously been above the industrial average.

    Apparently they are about to outed though.

    1. Anne

      Really? Interesting.

      Last company I worked in had a revolving door of jobbridge interns once the scheme was set up.
      These would have been paying jobs, but with attrition, filled the positions with ‘interns’.

      Some of the ‘interns’ went on to get menial jobs elsewhere, unrelated to the ‘internship’ and the gobsh*tes in management touted it internally as a success. Fairwell to our 9 month slave, he got a job stacking shelves in Dunnes, aren’t we great, roll on the next slave, tis a great success all round, we are all awesome, sorta thing. It’s a farce. C**ts

      50 quid to get the unemployment figures down and free labour.. c**ts.

      1. New Person A

        And Anne wades in with her size nines
        Not for her is avoiding. She’s right at times
        But operates in the world of blaming
        If others milk it they need shaming

      2. dereviled

        That clearly sounds like abusing the system- if I want to claim the dole I have to produce a reason for redundancy or dismissal, does the company not have to give a reason for ‘releasing’ workers and seeking new candidates?

        1. Anne

          “does the company not have to give a reason for ‘releasing’ workers and seeking new candidates?”

          I doubt they do.
          But yeah, good point about the dole.. don’t they call you in every so often too to see what you’re doing to get yourself a job. You’d have to prove you were applying for things, as far as I recall. And they might send someone out to spy on you. And haven’t they checkpoints set up everywhere to catch dole cheats.

          But it’s a free for all for employers with this slave labour.
          The slaves had it better actually, they had room and board.

          It’s a farce.

    1. Lilly

      If they can pay that mediocrity Ryan Tubridy half a mil, they can pay a trainee a living wage. Outrageous.

  9. Lilly

    There is no reason for an internship to last longer than three months. Ever. Frank Gleeson is a bullsh!tter.

  10. Lilly

    As for the psychologist spending hours at the photocopier every day. Why didn’t she walk out? That’s just abuse. Job seekers have to take responsibility for their own part in all this. God gave you a pair of legs for a reason, and fingers to salute on the way out.

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