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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Fine Gael Senator looking for unpaid intern who will do 'detailed research'

Neale Richmond
Neale Richmond
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A Fine Gael Senator is looking for an unpaid intern who will be tasked with administrative work and “detailed research”.

Dublin Rathdown Senator Neale Richmond, who was elected to the Senate on the Labour panel,  is advertising for an intern, less than a week after his party colleague Leo Varadkar scrapped the controversial JobBridge internship scheme.

In the ad posted on his personal website the politician said he himself got his start in politics working as an unpaid intern.

“Back in 2005, I got my start in politics working as an unpaid intern (stagiaire) with the European People’s Party in Brussels, this soon progressed into a full time job with Gay Mitchell MEP,” the ad reads.

“I believe internship programmes are vital to getting started in this field and I take them very serious. I am looking for an ambitious and dynamic individual to join my team for the next three months and to use this internship to kick start their professional career.”

"Working directly with me and my team, the successful candidate will:

  • compile detailed research on a range of policy topics
  • focus on my work on the EU affairs committee
  • contribute to the administrative running of my office
  • get a hands on training in how Government works
  • receive detailed career advice and mentoring"

The Dubliner said he will cover “expenses and travel” out of his own pocket.

Mr Richmond said he views this as his chance to “give back” after benefiting from his own internship and said he is flexible on the time a potential intern is able to give up to work with him and on their qualifications.

“I’ve had quite a number of people contacting the office and offering to help out, locally as well as in my office remotely and I was thinking why don’t I give something back, why don’t I formalise it?

“I’ve actually had an intern working with me for the past five weeks who has since gone on to get full time employment with another member of the Oireacthas  thanks to the time she spent with me and my recommendation,” he told

“Politics is a really difficult career to get a foot in the door.”

Mr Richmond said that he will coach the successful candidate and introduce them to his political network. The intern will not be based in Leinster House but will work there on occasion.

“I very much hope that when they finish up with me they’ll be going onto full time employment,” he said.

He said the scheme is very different and “has nothing to do with” the defunct Job Bridge scheme.

"I think it's a really positive thing to do... it's common to how things are done in every other country," he added.

"I called it an internship so that ultimately it will look the part on their CV rather than volunteering or campaign work."

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