I’m on a rant, it’s been a while since I’ve ranted on the blog but this topic needs to be talked about.  JobBridge (National Internship Scheme) for those who don’t know is this:

“An internship provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a working environment to those looking to explore or gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field.

JobBridge provides work experience placements for interns for a 6 month or 9 month period. It’s aim is to assist in breaking the cycle where jobseekers are unable to get a job without experience, either as new entrants to the labour market after education or training or as unemployed workers wishing to learn new skills.

Interns will receive an allowance of €50 per week on top of their social welfare entitlement. This will be payable for the period of the internship.”


What really got my back up is this JobBridge ‘opportunity’ for a Special Needs Assistant. So now it’s OK to ’employ’ people without experience to look after children with special needs? This isn’t fair on either the Intern or the child. These children need someone qualified and/or experienced looking after them. They need stability and understanding. It’s difficult enough for a child with special needs going through the education system and they need the right support to help them. Not just someone who has been plucked off the dole so the numbers on the live register go down for a few months. Now I’m not saying that the Intern will be rubbish at the ‘job’ but what if they are fantastic and the child gets to rely on this person only for at the end of the scheme for them to have to leave and a new Intern be wheeled in.

When Jono was at school he had a wonderful SNA, she knew about Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, she knew about scoliosis. She was trained and she knew exactly what to do if a problem arose. One of the teachers in the school complained that she was getting too close to Jono – she was my age and like a second mum to him. So the school took her away from him and gave him a young girl with no training. It was a disaster and one of the reasons he left school after doing his Junior Cert.

Updated post:

Heidi found a JobBridge for a Veterinary Surgeon

The intern will gain practical experience in: A busy veterinary practice. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Wide variety of clinical experience available. Teaching provided by senior vets aimed at bringing suitable candidate to proficiency in routine veterinary general practice procedures such as consulting, neutering, radiography and dentistry. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Assisting in a very busy Animal Hospital. Meeting and greeting clients and discussing treatments. Communicating with clients.

Please Note: This is an Internship. An allowance of €50 per week will be paid in addition to your current Social Welfare payment.See eligibility criteria above.

Just reading now about the HSE looking for an Intern psychologist.

The JobBridge posting reminds applicants in bold that the position “is an internship” and that the skills required include “excellent written and oral communication skills” as well as being a “good team worker, good problem solving abilities, enthusiastic, reliable and trustworthy”. It adds that no prior experience is required for the position.

This needs to be stopped. Now.

21 thoughts on “JobBridge

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  1. Completely agree. This irresponsible recruitment tactic has crept into a number of community and social service areas. These areas, so essential to many, are at the mercy of swift departmental cuts then casually saddle with this nonsense.

      1. Ah yeah. I’m holding out for a intern with the Dail meself. I can’t believe the lack of comment in the national press on this. A grossly irresponsible way of treating people, and the interns.

  2. fully agree with you, Val. You’ve put it across v well and I am sorry to hear that you speak from 1st hand experience and obviously know the impact this kind of irresponsible corner-cutting can case a young developing individual and their family.

  3. I agree with you 100%. À special needs child needs the aassistance of an educated person skilled the in area of need. Also, I believe it is most helpful for the child to have the same skilled person for as long as possible for continuity in their world and development. How sad for Juno to have lost this ‘special’ someone.

  4. These children need someone qualified and/or experienced looking after them. They need stability and understanding.

    So where do they gain the experience then?

    The whole point of an internship is to give a person experience and learning in a supervised environment. Otherwise you have a chicken-and-egg situation where it becomes impossible to gain experience unless you have experience.

    There are worthier JobBridge schemes to tackle than one which offers genuine supervised experience in a field where entry can be hard. Why not address retailers like Tesco, who hire “interns” to stack shelves.

    I speak as someone who was long-term unemployed and faced JobBridge. JobBridge isn’t so much about experience in many case, as it is about building confidence and inertia. You (in theory) you go and work for six months with someone who validates that You Can Do Stuff, and provides you with a reference at the end.

    1. I agree with certain JobBridges Mark. Lucy did one and found it rewarding and it gave her much-needed experience but when you are taken on as an Intern and could have a ‘job’ with a huge amount of responsibilty such as an SNA, vet or psychologist it’s very wrong.

  5. You know my thoughts on this Val. Mark…. they get the training in college first THEN in practice.
    I think it’s appalling that trained SNAs were let go in their droves and now JobBridge are replacing them, and other positions, via this scheme. It was always going to happen and I’m glad you’re highlighting it. It’s wrong. These placements involve looking after children with varying special needs.
    Perhaps if we’re short of paediatric nursiong staff we should just use JobBridge.
    Would you be happy to all ow your child be nursed by someone with no training?

    PS Maybe you should link this post to someone like @JillianvT , if you haven’t already.

  6. The whole Job Bridge scheme seems to be quite a disaster and only designed to keep Live Register low and so many real jobs getting covered by these free jobs as if it is a slave market. To extend this into professional areas is dangerous.

    In Scotland we had a wonderful set of schemes in the 80s, and very surprisingly this was under Thatcher years then. First, I had a business set up under their Enterprise Scheme, which i will not go into, but it was a scheme to help fund ideas into business. Once the business was up and running they knew we could not afford employees so Social Security reps would come around to us to see if they could help us get employees from the unemployed. We could get short term unemployed and pay half their wages or long term unemployed and government pay all of their wages for the first year.

    It was great as it was all about getting new businesses going with people with ideas being helped by people who wanted jobs. People like Tescos etc. could not get job scheme people and certainly no professional posts.

    Three Job Scheme employees I had moved onto the Enterprise Allowance Scheme to get their ideas going and they too took on Job Scheme employees for awhile. This all had a great mushrooming effect. I wish Ireland could learn by that as there are many, many local enterprise ideas that could be set up and flourish through this and provide sustained employment and continued good for local people.

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