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