Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (392, 398, 471)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh


392. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the total cost of the average JobBridge place for one year including income support and all other costs such as training fees and materials incurred by her Department and the Exchequer generally and to specify same. [22462/14]

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Arthur Spring


398. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Social Protection if there are certain exceptional circumstances, at the request of the applicant and host company, that would permit the applicant to enrol on the JobBridge scheme for second time with the same company. [22511/14]

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Seán Kyne


471. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Social Protection if, in relation to JobBridge, consideration could be given to introducing a time limit within which applicants with the required jobseeker's and other social welfare criteria could apply for internship but after which other persons with an interest in a particular sector could also apply to participate in the internships as such a new format would eliminate the current situation where a person hoping to work in a particular sector has to leave employment to build up the required three months on a social welfare payment to become eligible for the JobBridge scheme. [23357/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 392, 398 and 471 together.

The average JobBridge placement lasts 9 months. A JobBridge placement costs the Exchequer €50 per week or €1,950 for 9 months (39 weeks). Other Social Welfare payments would be made by the Department irrespective of participation in JobBridge. Training expenses for JobBridge interns are incurred by the host organisation not the Department.

There are no circumstances in which a JobBridge intern will be permitted to undertake a second internship with the same host organisation. This provision, and the provision that the intern may not undertake an internship with a host organisation with which they have had a previous employment relationship, ensure that the intern gains a wide spectrum of experience and new skills from their participation in JobBridge. Host organisations are precluded from filling the same position with an intern for six months after the end of the internship unless the intern moves directly into employment, either with the host organisation or another company. This is to prevent displacement of employees, excessive use of interns, and as an incentive to employ, or improve the employability of, the intern.

JobBridge is targeted at those on the Live Register who can benefit from real workplace experience to increase their employability and move into employment. It is not a general internship scheme. It is not intended for those in employment hoping to work in a particular sector.

The scheme has been launched in this targeted way to allocate scarce exchequer resources to make maximum impact for those at risk of long term unemployment while ensuring that it does not replace or displace the normal operation of the labour market. The Department does not make exceptions to the qualifying criteria.

Question No. 393 answered with Question No. 391.