A SECONDARY SCHOOL in Limerick city has raised some eyebrows after it posted five advertisements on JobBridge, one looking for a cleaner.
Ardscoil Rís, an all boys school on the North Circular Road, sought a cleaning assistant, a catering assistant, a security personnel, a laboratory technician, and someone to work in IT maintenance and training.
The description of the cleaning position read:
The intern will gain practical experience in 1: Use of industrial cleaning equipment 2: Provision of a high standard of work 4: Stock-taking of cleaning materials. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following 1: Ordering stock 2: Maintenance and use of equipment 3: Maintaining quality of work. On completion the intern will have attained skills in 1: Planning and implementation of cleaning schedules 2: Providing a high quality standard of wowk in a busy environment 3: Communication skills.
In all five cases the positions were nine months in length and said the interns would be paid an allowance of €50 per week in addition to their current social welfare payment. The closing date for applicants was Monday, August 12 and the ads were removed from the JobBridge sit after the deadline passed.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Skills said they were “aware of the positions which have been advertised by a school in Limerick, some of which would appear to offer valuable training and work experience options for people who are currently out of work”.
The statement to TheJournal.ie added that it wanted to “remind all schools that internships must not cause an existing member of staff to be displaced from the school”.
‘Schools are struggling’
Willie O’Dea, TD for Limerick City and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Social Protection, said “five seems pretty high alright”, but added “schools are struggling at the moment with grants being taken away”.
O’Dea has spoken out in the past about Joan Burton’s JobBridge scheme and told TheJournal.ie that companies that were found to be exploiting the scheme should be “removed from the list”.
When asked about the five posts at Ardscoil Rís, the Department of Social Protection said:
Applications from Host Organisations will only be accepted for advertisement on the JobBridge site if they are deemed to offer a quality internship experience to prospective interns and in particular to improve in employment prospects of interns.
The department added the “the maximum number of internships a host organisation can offer at any one time is dependent on their number of full time employees”:
|Number of Full Time Employees||Number of Internships|
|1-10 employees||1 internship place|
|11-20 employees||2 internship places|
|21-30 employees||3 internship places|
|30 + employees||20% of the workforce to a maximum of 200 internships whichever is the smaller|
When contacted by TheJournal.ie about the number and quality of the internships, school principal, Brid de Brún issued this statement:
I wish to advise you that the Board of Management of Ardscoil Rís is fully compliant with the terms of the JobBridge scheme.
The five JobBridge posts, which have since been removed, can be seen here: