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Gardaí defend hiring 16 JobBridge interns for €1.25 an hour

The force is currently seeking a “human rights assistant” and “legal/policing researcher.”

Updated: 9.29 pm

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA have defended their use of JobBridge interns, after facing criticism for advertising for a “human rights assistant” and “legal/policing researcher.”

A posting on the JobBridge website says the force is looking for a “team player” with a third-level degree and who holds a “human rights qualification.”

They are also looking for a “Legal/Policing researcher” to carry out research, analyse material and “contribute to developing policy within An Garda Síochána.”

All for €1.25 an hour.

In response to queries from TheJournal.ie, a Garda spokesperson this evening stood by the use of JobBridge interns, claiming that the force had availed of 16 since the scheme began in 2011.

An Garda Síochána is fully supportive of the government’s National Internship Scheme [JobBridge].
[It is] part of [the force's] strategy in terms of providing and opening up opportunities to those looking to explore or gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field.
The Department of Social Protection approves all internships prior to their advertisement.
To date 16 candidates have received internships with An Garda Síochána and we are aware that five of these interns have successfully gained employment outside of An Garda Síochána as a result of the experience they have gained during their placement.All successful candidates are fully vetted before taking up their internship.

In ads posted to the JobBridge website yesterday, the Gardaí are seeking interns to work 40 hours a week for €50 on top of their social welfare payment.

Despite stating that no experience is required, one posting also requires the applicant be a “holder of a human rights qualification.”

humanrightsassistant Source: JobBridge

The ad specifies that the successful candidate must have the “ability to observe confidentiality.”

However, TheJournal.ie is awaiting clarification from An Garda Síochána as to whether the human rights assistant will have access to the PULSE system, or other private data relating to members of the public.

Similarly, the force have advertised for a “Legal/Policing researcher” with a third level degree who holds a “legal/policing researcher qualification” and is a “team player.”

The intern will gain practical experience in legal/policing researching, policy development and legal proofing.
They will learn how to carry out research, analyse material and contribute to develop policy within An Garda Síochána. [sic]

legalresearcher Source: JobBridge

Here’s the ad for the “human rights assistant” in full:

Description
The intern will gain practical experience in a team environment at the leading edge of policing/human rights, analyse material and contribute to develop policy within An Garda Síochana.The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following on the job training with induction and dedicated Mentor.Learn how to analyse data, prepare reports, deliver presentations. On completion the intern will have attained skills in carrying out research, report writing and presentations.Will also gain experience in working in a team environment as part of a large organisation.In addition high standards of quality control and mentoring will be provided.
Skills Requirements
The individual will have the ability to work as part of a team in delivering a consistent quality of work to deadlines.They will have a high level of personal responsibility and integrity and the ability to observe confidentiality in respect of the work conducted.Please NoteThis is an Internship. An allowance of €50 per week will be paid in addition to your current Social Welfare payment. See eligibility criteria above.Department: An Garda SíochánaMentor: The Organisation will assign a mentor to support you during the Internship.

Duration: 9 months

Number of positions: 1

Contract type: Other

Days, Hours & Start Date

Days per week: To be advised
Hours per day: Not specified
Hours per week: 40
Start date: TBC

Experience required: No experience required

Educational requirements: Third level. Good communication skills and IT skills. Holder of human rights qualification. Team player.

 

Socialist TD and founder of ScamBridge.ie Paul Murphy told TheJournal.ie these postings were “an extreme example of how JobBridge is used to exploit people in the public sector.”

It’s very difficult to see where people are actually being trained [in the Garda Síochana ads].
They seem quite evidently to be jobs, in an important public service where we expect highly qualified people.

Murphy said the use of JobBridge by An Garda Síochána was particularly unwelcome because it “sets a tone for the rest of the economy.”

Now that this is out there, and is getting public opposition, [Garda Commissioner] Nóirín Ó’Sullivan has a responsibility and an opportunity to act and remove the ads.

Originally published: 1.13 pm

Read: There are 24 JobBridge interns in government departments>

IBM and PayPal criticised for using JobBridge to fill science and tech positions>

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About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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