Irish News

Thursday 10 July 2014

Wanted: PhD grad to work for €50

Brian Byrne and Joyce Fegan

Published 17/01/2014|02:30

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WANTED: Someone to work for the basic dole rate and a €50 top-up, must have PhD.

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Two different companies have advertised internships as part of the Government's JobBridge initiative -- but want only highly qualified staff.

A pharmaceutical plant in Cork is seeking applications under the back-to-work scheme and a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry is considered to be a "base requirement".

A spokesman from Hovione said there "hasn't been that much interest" in the role.

However, another pharmaceutical plant in west Dublin, Clarochem, had a similar requirement for a PhD intern and has just filled the role for a full 39-hour-week programme for six months.

Clarochem Ireland, a custom manufacturing plant in Mulhuddart, asked that applicants held a minimum of a PhD in synthetic chemistry, and were capable of working on solo projects in a dynamic environment.

The job description claimed that the intern would gain a variety of practical and technical skills -- however, as with all JobBridge internships, they would receive just €50 on top of their social welfare payment.

Hovione is advertising for a technical service chemist and offers free breakfast and lunch onsite to the successful applicant. The spokesman described the role as "tough to fill" because it's a technical job and "you'd want a good level knowledge coming in to get the best of out it".

He stated that company has hired staff who worked under the JobBridge scheme for the pharmaceutical firm in the past.

Hovione's job advertisement says that the applicant will complete organic synthesis laboratory experiments and carry out basic analysis.

Its requirements are an honours degree in chemistry and a PhD, but the spokesman said the latter was only "desired" and the condition did not take advantage of unemployed graduates.

A spokesperson for Clarochem Ireland also insisted it was not taking advantage of the unemployed. "We don't make the rules of the scheme, it's a government scheme. We offered the position to people who could not get employment," they said.

To date, the company has hired four interns under the JobBridge scheme, all of whom it said were offered fully paid employment with other companies before the internship came to an end.

There are currently 6,415 people on JobBridge internships and a further 1,964 roles advertised. In an independent evaluation carried out in May of last year, three-in-five participants secured employment following their internship.

Irish Independent

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