More than 20,000 internships taken up under the scheme
The number of internships taken up under JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, has now passed 20,000, the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., announced today (18th September 2013).
Minister Burton was speaking at the headquarters of the Football Association of Ireland at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin 15. Five former JobBridge participants who completed internships at the FAI now work in a full-time capacity with the Association, while eight people are currently on JobBridge placements there.
JobBridge was launched in July 2011 to assist jobseekers to gain work experience and acquire new skills. There are over 5,300 participants currently on an internship and over 2,000 internship posts are currently advertised on the JobBridge website, www.jobbridge.ie. Over 9,000 companies have participated in the scheme from a cross-section of industry and employment.
Minister Burton welcomed the fact that the number of internships taken up has now exceeded 20,000 and said the FAI was an excellent example of the scheme’s benefits to both interns and employers.
The Minister and Mr Martin Murphy, Managing Director of HP Ireland and Chair of the JobBridge Steering Group, received a briefing on the FAI’s experience of JobBridge from Mr Fran Gavin, the FAI Director of Competitions and Interim Head of Grassroots.
Speaking at Abbotstown, Minister Burton said: “I am delighted that so many jobseekers have been helped by JobBridge - to develop new skills, to gain quality work experience, to establish a network of contacts and ultimately to find employment. The experience of JobBridge participants at the FAI demonstrates the success of the scheme, for interns and employers alike. JobBridge is proving its worth in helping people get back to work.”
Mr Murphy said: “JobBridge is delivering on average 800 internships every month since it launched just over two years ago. Our goal is to increase participation by 20%, to get to 950 internships a month, to reach our annual target of 8,500 placements. The improvements being made to the scheme will further enhance the jobseeker experience. In addition, I want to drive greater awareness among employers of complementary schemes, such as JobsPlus*, which are making it easier and more attractive to hire motivated, experienced people from the Live Register.”
Mr Gavin said: “I would like to thank Minister Burton for taking the time to come to our Headquarters today. We receive a huge number of applications every year from people who want to work for the Association to develop Irish football. The JobBridge scheme has worked very well in providing talented individuals with the opportunity to contribute to the work that we do and many have gone on to full employment. Through this and other initiatives such as Project FUTSAL, the FAI/FÁS schemes and community-based social inclusion initiatives for the unemployed, we believe that football has a big role to play in community-based schemes to tackle unemployment.”
Project FUTSAL is the exciting new collaboration which the FAI and JobBridge are now working on. This project is specifically aimed at providing employment and educational opportunities for young people in disadvantaged areas, and influencing and assisting community regeneration in those areas (see www.projectfutsal.ie). As part of the initiative, the FAI is offering a number of internships as Football in the Community Assistants to Project FUTSAL graduates. These internships will be delivered via the JobBridge model. The internships will provide interns with valuable hands-on work experience in local communities.
Three in five participants in JobBridge secure employment within five months of completing their internships, according to the independent evaluation of the scheme conducted by Indecon Economic Consultants and published in May this year. This 61% progression rate is one of the best outcomes for such a scheme anywhere in Europe. The same evaluation found that 96% of host organisations would recommend JobBridge to another employer, while 89% of interns stated that JobBridge had given them new skills. The Indecon report also contained a number of recommendations to further enhance the scheme and maximise progression rates for participants. These recommendations are now being implemented.
Minister Burton concluded: “JobBridge is just one of a number of ways in which the Government is tackling unemployment. The latest CSO figures show we are moving in the right direction, with an increase of 33,800 in the numbers at work over the last year. We must maintain that progress and I would urge jobseekers and employers alike to consider the benefits of JobBridge and other Government schemes.”
Note to editors
The Indecon report provided a number of key recommendations which are targeted at maximising progression outcomes for interns and ensuring value for money for taxpayers. The Department of Social Protection has taken the following actions to implement the recommendations:
· Two pilot initiatives for non-graduate internships have been launched in the past six months: a collaboration with the Crafts Council of Ireland facilitating access to high-quality internship experience in the craft sector; and JobBridge and the Arts, a collaboration with Local Authorities and various small or short-duration festivals and arts projects.
· The “cooling off” period for host organisations will be waived where the intern goes directly into employment, thereby rewarding successful progression outcomes into employment.
· The Department’s quality and control checks have also been improved to provide even more support to interns, with a significant increase in monitoring and site visits being conducted by Department officials.
· Codes of practice and guidelines have been introduced for placements in key sectors such as childcare and health.
· The maximum number of internships that an intern can avail of will be increased from two to three, and the maximum duration of internships from nine months to 18 months, thereby providing further opportunities for jobseekers.
· The Department is simplifying eligibility criteria and making them more visible in advance to all applicants.
JobsPlus is the new employer incentive scheme operated by the Department of Social Protection which incentivises businesses to hire jobseekers from the Live Register, boost job creation and reduce long-term unemployment. The scheme is focused on people who are long-term unemployed, and will see the State cover approximately €1 in €4 of the typical cost of hiring someone who has been on the Live Register for 12 months or more. Since 1st July 2013, companies who employ interns who are eligible for the new JobsPlus scheme may qualify for a financial incentive of up to €10,000, payable each month over a two-year period to qualifying employers, which helps to offset wage costs.
JobBridge Data by County
County Finishers Current Total
DUBLIN 5,280 1,724 7,004
CORK 1,479 526 2,005
GALWAY 1,010 332 1,342
LIMERICK 749 310 1,059
WATERFORD 523 190 713
KILDARE 522 184 706
DONEGAL 495 163 658
TIPPERARY 483 162 645
KERRY 429 173 602
WEXFORD 446 149 595
LOUTH 362 143 505
MAYO 338 155 493
WESTMEATH 357 136 493
CLARE 317 138 455
WICKLOW 346 93 439
MEATH 336 96 432
SLIGO 284 100 384
MONAGHAN 244 79 323
KILKENNY 232 70 302
LAOIS 208 86 294
CAVAN 191 75 266
CARLOW 196 69 265
OFFALY 174 76 250
LONGFORD 122 34 156
ROSCOMMON 108 47 155
LEITRIM 70 22 92
Grand Total 15,301 5,332 20,633