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.