Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (303)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

307 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current waiting time for an application for the JobBridge programme; the number of participants on the programme who have gone on to obtain full-time employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34798/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

The National Internship Scheme was launched on 1 July 2011. It provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals 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. 8,588 internship placements have commenced since the launch of the Scheme in July 2011. There are currently 4,946 interns undertaking internship placements. In addition, there are in excess of 2,100 internship posts currently advertised on the JobBridge website www.jobbridge.ie.

As you may appreciate, JobBridge staff receive a large volume of applications from Host Organisations. However, I would point out that the average waiting time for processing of applications is one day from receipt of such applications.

Preliminary data from the interns who ended their placements in recent months indicates that 39% of those who have completed internships to-date have gone directly into employment with either their JobBridge Host Organisation or another company on the immediate completion of their internship. It is also important to note that this does not take into account of interns who may have secured employment in the subsequent weeks or months after completing their internship.

The above represents very significant progress in a short period of time. Further information on outcomes will be ascertained following the independent evaluation of the scheme which is currently being undertaken by Indecon International Economic Consultants. This evaluation will assess the design, delivery and impact of the JobBridge Scheme. It will provide details of the nature of the work experience of the participants; a measurement of the relevance of that experience to the labour market and progression into employment.