The National Internship Scheme was launched on 1st July 2011. It provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals on the Live Register, at all skills levels. The aim of JobBridge is to assist individuals in breaking the cycle where they are unable to get a job without experience. It provides them with an opportunity to gain valuable experience, relevant knowledge and skills within a working environment. The Scheme is open to organisations in the private, public and community or voluntary sectors.
The Scheme has made significant progress to-date. 6,842 jobseekers have commenced their internship since 1st July 2011. There are currently 4,670 jobseekers undertaking internship opportunities. In addition, there are 1,876 internship opportunities available across a wide number of occupational sectors and geographic areas being hosted on the JobBridge websitewww.jobbridge.ie.
In response to your specific query, it is must be stated that the Scheme is open to companies in all sectors including private, public, voluntary and community. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
In order to be eligible to participate in JobBridge — the National Internship Scheme an individual must be:
Currently in receipt of a live claim (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/Signing for Credits) on the Live Register
And have been in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance or signing for Social Insurance Contribution Credits for a total of 3 months (78 days) or more in the last 6 months.
Periods spent on Back to Education Allowance, VTOS, FÁS/Fáilte Ireland Training courses, Youthreach, FIT, Community Employment Schemes, TUS, the Rural Social Scheme, Back to Work Scheme, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, FÁS Job Initiative or Job Assist will count towards meeting the eligibility of JobBridge, provided:
The individual has completed these programmes.
Has signed back on to the Live Register.
Is in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit/Allowance or Jobseeker credits immediately before commencing on JobBridge.
A host organisation participating in JobBridge must be in a position to provide a substantial commitment to their intern so as to ensure the provision of a quality internship. To this end, a clear set of rules have been developed to protect the intern and safeguard JobBridge from potential abuse.
In order for organisation to participate it must comply with the following criteria:
An organisation, or a local branch, must have a minimum of 1 full time employee who is employed for 30 hours or more per week (i.e. on payroll and subject to tax and PRSI).
Be a legal entity and/or a charity recognised by the Revenue Commissioners (with a CHY number).
Have NO vacancies in the area of activity in which the internship is offered.
The placement is not displacing an employee.
The Scheme Administrator reserves the right to review cases where it is reported that this is the case.
Have Public/Employers Liability insurance and Motor Insurance, if applicable, that will cover any interns on the JobBridge Scheme.
Be fully compliant with current workplace health and safety and all other legal requirements.
If Garda Vetting applies to the placement, ensure that the vetting process is applied.
The host organisation may not provide an internship opportunity under the Scheme to an individual they have an existing employment relationship with.
The total number of internship places an organisation can offer at any one time is:
Number of Full Time Employees*
Number of Internships
1 internship place
2 internship places
3 internship places
30 + employees
20% of the workforce to a maximum of 200 internships whichever is the smaller
*Who is employed for 30 hours or more per week (i.e. on payroll and subject to tax and PRSI)
Local branch offices of national organisations e.g. large retail outlets will not be regarded as an individual host organisation for the purpose of JobBridge (effective from 10th October 2011).
The maximum number of interns a Host Organisation can have, on the Scheme, at any point in time is 200 irrespective of the number of local branches they have.
Potential host organisations can avail of the JobBridge guidelines which are available on the JobBridge websitewww.jobbridge.ie.
On the 15th August 2011, these criteria were amended to include the participation of Sole Traders within the JobBridge scheme provided they have a minimum of 1 full time employee (employed for 30 hours or more per week and subject to tax and PRSI).
My Department continues to monitor and review the operation of the JobBridge scheme including its eligibility criteria both for Host Organisations and Interns on an ongoing basis.