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Monitoring of Jobbridge Internship Scheme

Question No. 94 Ref: 28920/11

To the Minister for Social Protection

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the steps being taken to ensure that the positions advertised on jobbridge are suitable for internships which will benefit the internee on their future career path.

– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 12th October, 2011.

Ref No: 28920/11

REPLY

Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D.)

The JobBridge scheme contains a number of measures to minimise displacement including the following:

· all Host Organisations must declare in their application that they are not displacing an employee and that they have no vacancy in the specific area;

· the JobBridge team check all applications against recent vacancies advertised on the FAS Jobs Ireland website;

· if the JobBridge team suspects that displacement may be an issue, they can liaise with regional FÁS management to find out more information on the company.

In order for all applications from host organisations to be approved they must also meet a number of criteria so as to ensure that the potential internships are of sufficient quality. These include the following:

· That the internship does not allow the intern to work unsupervised;

· That the intern accrues significant experience throughout the entire internship.

In order for an internship to commence a Standard Internship Agreement must be signed by both the intern and the host organisation. This Agreement clearly stipulates the terms of the internship and states the specific learning outcomes the intern will receive over the course of their internship.

To ensure compliance with the scheme, my Department and the JobBridge team are monitoring internships to ensure that both host organisations and interns are abiding by the spirit and the rules of the scheme.

This involves the monitoring of monthly compliance reports which the host organisation uses to verify that the internship is proceeding as set out in the Standard Internship Agreement. In addition, contact with the host organisations and interns including random site visits will begin shortly as part of this process.

The scheme also has a ‘whistle blowing’ feature, where any individual who suspects that an internship may be in breach of the scheme’s criteria, including in cases of suspected displacement or poor quality, may contact the National Call Centre. All such claims will be investigated. Where it is proven that displacement has occurred in a Host Organisation their internship opportunities will be removed and they will not be allowed to participate in JobBridge.

ENDS