Mandate Youth supporting Jobbridge protest

Friday 04 October 2013, 03pm

Mandate Youth is supporting tomorrow’s (Saturday, 5 October 2013) protest against the extension of the JobBridge scheme. The protest will take place outside of the FAS offices on D’Olier St, Dublin 2 at 3pm.

Jobbridge is the National Internment Scheme that provides work experience placements for interns for a 6 or 9 month period. The costs of the scheme are all borne by the taxpayer and the employer doesn’t have to pay any of the costs of employment.

Interns receive an extra €50 on top of their means tested jobseekers allowance which, if you’re under 25 years of age receiving €140 means you’ll receive €190 for working a full time job, or if you’re under 22 receiving €100, you’ll only receive €150 per week.

David Gibney from Mandate Youth said the JobBridge scheme has many flaws and is a concern for young people especially.

“Approximately 75% of all JobBridge interns are below the age of 35. That makes this an issue for all young people across Ireland. What the scheme does is offers young workers a full time job where they can earn below the minimum wage in the hope that at the end they’ll have a job to walk into,” he said.

Mr Gibney pointed out that Mandate Trade Union has been campaigning for Decent Work in the Irish retail sector but scheme’s like JobBridge challenge that very notion.

“We have many good retailers in Ireland who pay a living wage and provide their employees with decent terms and conditions. However, we now have profitable retail employers who can use JobBridge to receive free labour – which obviously gives them an advantage over their competitor down the street,” he said.

“We don’t want to see a situation where, in order to stay in business, retailers who aren’t using JobBridge have to either cut costs or start bringing in JobBridge interns themselves.”

Derek Keenan, Chairperson of ICTU Youth and the Communications Workers Union said the JobBridge scheme is being abused on a regular basis.

“We have several worries, not least of which is that the displacement of existing employees is clearly evident. The Indecon report shows that 3% of employers - or around 300 employers - have admitted using the scheme to displace existing paid employment.  Yet only 23 employers have been disqualified.”

He added, “The report also shows that only 28.6% of interns went on to eventually be employed by the company they were interned with. Coincidently, 29% of employers, when asked what they would have done without the JobBridge scheme, said they would have hired someone anyway.”

Mr Keenan encouraged all trade union members and young workers to come to the protest and demand real employment instead of internship scheme’s which flatter the youth unemployment figures for the government.

Go to the Facebook event page to find out more by clicking here.

Listen to an RTE Drivetime discussion on JobBridge here.

 


 

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