The National Internship Scheme (JobBridge) was launched in July 2011 and is open to organisations in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors.
The Scheme provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed people of all skills levels. It aims to assist individuals in breaking the cycle where they are unable to get a job without experience by providing them with an opportunity to gain valuable experience and acquire relevant knowledge and skills in a working environment.
Since the Scheme was launched, nearly 8,200 internship placements have commenced. There are currently 4,899 interns undertaking placements and there are in excess of 2,100 internship posts currently advertised on the JobBridge website —www.jobbridge.ie.
Eligibility for the Scheme is currently restricted at those in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, Jobseekers Benefit, One Parent Family Payment, Disability Allowance or signing for credits for 78 days out of the last 6 months. Time spent on certain Government sponsored training may also be taken into account when calculating eligibility. This is to underline the Department's objective which is to prioritise scarce resources at those in receipt of a live claim or on the Live Register with a view to increasing their chances of accessing employment, training and educational opportunities. The person concerned is currently not eligible for JobBridge. However, she applied for Jobseeker's Allowance on 25th June 2012 and her claim is currently being processed. Should her claim be successful, she will be eligible for an internship placement once she is in receipt of the payment for the requisite number of days.