Monday 23 September 2019

Leading cinema defends JobBridge hiring plans

Eoghan MacNeill

A WELL-KNOWN cinema has defended its decision to advertise a vacancy under the JobBridge National Internship Scheme – the controversial programme where the unemployed complete internships for a €50 “top-up” on their social welfare payment.

The Light House Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin 7 advertised the position on 22nd July, stating that the successful applicant “will gain practical experience in Sales, administration, audience development and programming.”

On completion of the internship, the advertisement added, the intern will have gained skills in “programming of films,” and “audience development.”

However, the cinema has denied that the JobBridge position will replace an existing staff position.

The advertisement was criticised on the cinema’s Facebook page, with a number of users threatening to boycott the cinema.

“I am massively disappointed in you Lighthouse. Replacing jobs with internships is unacceptable. I will not be a patron at your cinema in future if this is the case,” wrote Alexia Chu.

The cinema has denied that the intern is being hired to displace paid positions:

“Nothing could be further from the truth. We currently have twenty staff who are paid on a full or part time basis to work in box office, and that will continue to be the case,” a spokesperson for the cinema said. 

The cinema explained the internship was created “in response to a number of queries,” they had received from applicants with an interest in “programming” – the process of deciding films to be screened in a cinema.

“Programming is a role where it is difficult to find work without experience and while we don’t currently have a full time programming assistant role available, we are willing to offer a placement to mentor someone who would be interested in pursuing programming as a career,” the spokesperson added.  

Applications for the position have closed with the cinema explaining they had received a “significant response to the ad.”

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