Tuesday 21 November 2017

There's no excuse for fastest-growing economy in EU to keep using JobBridge

'Certain private-sector employers have become over-reliant on JobBridge to fill vacancies'. Photo: Bloomberg News
'Certain private-sector employers have become over-reliant on JobBridge to fill vacancies'. Photo: Bloomberg News
Colette Browne

Colette Browne

JobBridge was introduced as a temporary measure in 2011 at the height of the economic crisis. But why is it still in existence now that Ireland has the fastest growing economy in the EU?

Last week, acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the HSE was raiding €15m from the paltry €35m mental health budget because of a delay in recruiting staff. Odd then that instead of using this budget, the HSE has instead used JobBridge 67 times to hire psychologists.

Since 2011, the HSE has used the scheme to fill nearly 400 roles, including speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, medical physicists, counselling psychotherapists and assistant psychologists. In August last year, it defended advertising a position on JobBridge for a clinical psychologist to work in Waterford's mental health services for nine months, saying the position would provide "a stepping stone" for applicants.

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