Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (121)

Martin Ferris

Question:

121. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of JobBridge interns who have gone on to employment directly related to the internships in which they had been involved. [11387/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

As the Deputy will be aware, JobBridge, the National Internship scheme, provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community voluntary sectors. It is targeted at individuals who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance) or are signing on for credits for at least 3 of the last 6 months (78 Days). The JobBridge scheme has made significant progress since it came into operation. 14,888 internships have commenced as at 21 February 2013 with 5,790 participants on an internship and 2,241 internship opportunities advertised on www.jobbridge.ie as of that date.

With regard to progression outcomes, the interim evaluation of JobBridge conducted by Indecon International Economic Consultants (published on 5 October, 2012) states that 61% of JobBridge finishers progressed into employment with either their host organisation or another employer within 5 months of finishing their internship. The majority of these had gone on to employment with their host organisations while the others took the skills and experiences that they gained during their internship to gain employment in the wider labour market. In total Indecon found that 40.3% of people who had completed their internship were employed either in their host organisation or in another organisation from the same industry sector. The balance of interns then in employment were employed in other sectors. Empowering an intern to look with confidence at the wider labour market with enhanced employment opportunities is one of the key successes of the scheme.

Satisfaction rates for JobBridge among employers and jobseekers remains high with surveys conducted as part of the interim evaluation by Indecon finding that 89.3% of interns felt JobBridge had given them new skills and improved their chances of gaining employment and 96% of host organisations indicating that they would recommend JobBridge to other employers.

Further information on outcomes will be ascertained in the final evaluation report. It is anticipated that this report will be available in the coming weeks. 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, analysis of age categories and further findings concerning progression into employment. It will also present recommendations on how the scheme might be improved and it is at that stage that further consideration will be given to amending the terms and conditions of the scheme.

Question No. 122 answered with Question No. 104.