Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Ceisteanna (248, 249)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

267 Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason traders and businesses who do not employ at least one person are excluded from the JobBridge scheme. [20987/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Social Protection)

The National Internship Scheme has been set up with a view to giving job seekers the opportunity to take part in a quality internship with a host organisation.

A host organisation participating in JobBridge must be in a position to provide a substantial commitment to their intern and to ensure that they are provided with a quality internship. It is considered that many sole traders and persons who do not employ at least one person will have insufficient capacity to mentor and support properly the professional development of an intern over the course of the internship. It has therefore been decided that, initially, sole traders and persons who do not employ at least one person will not be eligible to participate in the national internship scheme.

The Department is monitoring the operation of JobBridge on an ongoing basis, including eligibility criteria, and will amend them if considered necessary. In that context, the Department is currently reviewing the eligibility of sole traders.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

268 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person who is unemployed but is not in receipt of any payments or benefit from social welfare will be able to participate in the national internship scheme; if so, the circumstances in which he or she may participate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21010/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

In order to be eligible to participate in JobBridge, the national internship scheme, an individual must: — currently be in receipt of a Jobseeker's Allowance/Jobseeker's Benefit or signing for credits on the Live Register, and — have been so for a total of three months or more in the last six months.

An individual who does not receive a Jobseeker's Allowance/Benefit payment may therefore be eligible to participate in the scheme provided that they are currently signing onto the Live Register for Social Insurance contribution credits and have been doing so for at least three of the last six months. Information on the scheme, including details of eligibility criteria for the scheme, is available at www.jobsbridge.ie.