€20m scheme has only put eight in jobs
THE Government's €20m jobs initiative has only set up eight internships in its first two weeks of operations, despite advertising hundreds of positions.
The Department of Social Protection has been inundated with applications from businesses and county councils seeking to partake in the scheme. To date, more than 700 internships are on offer on www.jobbridge.ie.
While some of Ireland's top businesses are interested in taking on interns -- companies like Quinn Group, Smurfit Kappa, and Aer Lingus have all signed up to jobbridge -- very few of the country's 400,000 social welfare recipients are applying for positions on the national internship scheme.
To date, only 65 individuals have been selected to participate in the jobbridge scheme. Out of these, only 27 met the criteria to qualify for the scheme. In order to qualify, an individual must be in receipt of Jobseekers' Benefit for at least six months. Only eight individuals have started internships.
The companies who apply to take on the interns are not liable for any cost incurred by the scheme. The Department of Social Protection pays the extra €50 a week on top of the social welfare payment the interns are entitled to. In return, the interns are required to work up to 40 hours a week.
So far, the Department of Social Protection has had to remove 28 of the online internships because they were deemed not to be of sufficiently high quality. The internships were from all sectors, ranging from building and construction to information technology.