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Burton thanks JobBridge critics, says the scheme "isn't for everyone"

In an exclusive interview with TheJournal.ie, Minister Burton said that she thanked critics of JobBridge for bringing things on the site to her attention.


(Thejournalvideo/YouTube)

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL Protection, Joan Burton, has said that JobBridge “isn’t for everyone”.

In an exclusive interview with TheJournal.ie, Minister Burton said that JobBridge has “literally liberated” some people “and opened up a new life of opportunity and working for them”. But she added:

I’m also aware that other people don’t like it, we live in a free country, that’s their prerogative.

Critics

When it comes to the critics of JobBridge, such as the Scambridge website, the Minister questioned how many of the people behind the Scambridge site are themselves working.

She said that for graduates who cannot find employment, “the people with all this achievement, all this learning, practice, whatever they do on this course they come out and they still can’t get a job”.

She described this as “really distressing for themselves and their family”.

So the thing you have to ask people on Scambridge, the website you were talking about, is how many of them are not working? Because people in work are very, very different to the people who are out of work who are feeling their confidence, their contacts, their network, all the certainty they had about how good they know they are, kind of ebbing away and then ‘is there something wrong with me that I’m not getting a job’. The answer is there is a problem with the economy and we have to try and help people get back to work.

“So JobBridge is not for everybody, but for a lot of people and there’s independent evidence to show it, for a lot of the people who do it has been a pathway back to work,” said the Minister. She added that “not everybody is going to have the same pathway”.

She said of critics:

I’ve said several times in the Dáil that the people who are critical, and bring stuff on Jobbridge to our attention, thank you very much because we look at all the complaints in detail. If we find that employer in some way has been abusing the system we don’t allow that employer renew or take another intern.

Burton said she has met people who say they got a chance out of JobBridge, and that it is an option for people who have “just hit a brick wall as regards employment”.

On the other hand, I get the sense that a lot of employers would like to take people on but they are not actually sure will I be able to finance this job, will this job add added value to my particular business.

She said that what JobBridge is doing is bringing those two sets of people together. JobBridge has been independently evaluated since it began, and both the interns and companies involved can contact the scheme at any time. “We have had thousands of visits to the places where people are interning,” said Burton.

The feedback says that after five months 60 per cent of people have found employment.

According to the Minister, the people who are most successful are those working in the private sector in small and medium businesses. The placement rates have been “really, really good” in the public sector, with people picking up temporary contracts in some instances.

She clarified that two of the creches involved in the recent Prime Time investigation scandal had not had any JobBridge interns, and that one of them had an internship, but it was not in the creche featured in the programme.

She also said that some of the ads were in relation to childcare but more were in relation to areas like HR , payroll and services.

The interview with Minister Burton was filmed and edited by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: Nationwide JobBridge ban for creche chains featured in RTÉ programme>

Read: McDonald criticises JobBridge’s ‘no experience required’ childcare positions>

Read: JobBridge: 3 out of 5 interns secure paid employment>

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