Thursday 18 January 2018

JobBridge scheme extended by 1,000 places and now includes lone parents

Michael Brennan and Breda Heffernan

LONE parents will be allowed to apply for the 1,000 extra places being provided in the State's work-experience scheme.

There are already 5,000 places in JobBridge which is designed to give work experience to people who have been on the dole for three months or more.

So far more than 7,000 people have availed of the internships and Martin Murphy, managing director of HP Ireland and chairman of the National Internship Scheme said today that just under 40pc of participants have secured full time employment.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton announced that lone parents would now be allowed to apply.

They will get €50 per week on top of their standard social welfare payments.

It comes as the economy was given another jobs boost yesterday with the announcement that internet security company Total Defense is to create 100 hi-tech posts with the opening of its new European operations hub in Dublin.

Last month, Ms Burton introduced legislation last month to cut off the lone parents' allowance once a child reaches the age of seven in 2014; the current age limit is 14.

Ms Burton denied that the JobBridge scheme was just a way of providing cheap labour, saying it had already helped 6,800 people to get work placements.

"The take-up has been across all sectors and all company sizes. In anybody's book that is a success," she said.

More than three-quarters of the people on the placements are aged between 20-36.

Although there has been criticism of the number of people who have dropped out of the scheme, Ms Burton said 797 people had got a job immediately afterwards with the company they worked with or another organisation. There are currently 4,670 people in JobBridge placements and another 1,876 posts are available on the scheme's website.

Mr Murphy, who is chair of the JobBridge steering group, said he had received very positive feedback about it from business people.

Irish Independent

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