Jobs scheme shows what can be done with creative thinking
GOOD news is still scarce and any shaft of light that filters through is particularly welcome. Yesterday, the Taoiseach told the launch of an independent evaluation of JobBridge that the government-created programme is delivering on its promise.
Interns receive €50 from the State in addition to their social welfare benefits, but there has been some criticism about how a minority of employers are replacing paid employees with unpaid interns.
According to the latest evaluation of the scheme, more than half – 61pc – of interns progressed to paid employment after completing the course.
And almost 17,000 interns have taken part in the scheme so far with more than 6,000 currently on placement.
In itself, JobBridge won't solve the problem; but it does show what can be done when jobseekers, employers and the Government come together.
Meanwhile, the European Investment Bank was busy this week, too, lending cheaply to a variety of infrastructural projects which, according to the Department of Public Expenditure, could provide up to 13,000 jobs.
More of the same, on both counts, please.
April's jobless statistics, however, give little reason for joy and don't bear the mark of these positive developments – a reminder that there is still a long road ahead.