Question No: 101 Ref No: 36885-15
To the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will consider abolishing the waiting period for the JobBridge Scheme, to ensure that all those in receipt of Jobseeker’s and wishing to gain experience can do so without delay; if not, the reason; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 22nd October, 2015.
R E P L Y
Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Kevin Humphreys TD)
JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, is one of a range of activation and labour market initiatives that offer assistance to people trying to secure work. Key policy objectives of these initiatives are to target support and prioritise scarce resources at those most in need of assistance.
The particular focus of the JobBridge Scheme is to provide unemployed people with an opportunity to secure work experience and to prove their competence to prospective employers. The scheme is targeted at jobseekers in receipt of specified social welfare payments or signing for social welfare credits for a minimum of 78 days. The primary reason for this is to mitigate the risk of deadweight.
Exit rates from the Live Register are high during the first three months of unemployment. Reducing the 78-day qualifying period would, therefore, increase the levels of deadweight and reduce the scheme’s effectiveness, efficiency and economy.
A range of other supports and services are available to jobseekers who are in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for less than 78 days, including advice on job search activities, the use of online job search tools and other up-skilling opportunities.
The Department is undertaking an external review of JobBridge which will include an econometric evaluation. The results of the review will provide an evidential basis upon which to consider how the scheme might best be improved.