SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton has defended the Government's JobBridge scheme amid heavy criticism by an MEP.
Socialist MEP Paul Murphy, who has branded the scheme 'scambridge', is planning to name a company which has been stopped from participating in the internship scheme.
Ahead of his announcement, Ms Burton said staff from her department had conducted 4,400 inspections, a figure she described as "extraordinarily high" in relation to the scheme which has around 9,000 participating organisations.
JobBridge offers nine-month internships to unemployed people who get an additional €50 a week from the State on top of their welfare payments. Speaking in Longford yesterday, she said: "If it doesn't turn out to be what people expected, we investigate and if we find employers have failed to comply then we just say we won't offer them additional intern places."