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McDonald criticises JobBridge's 'no experience required' childcare positions

A number of internships advertised on the site require only secondary level qualifications.

Mary-Lou McDonald speaking in the Dáil this morning.
Mary-Lou McDonald speaking in the Dáil this morning.
Image: Screengrab via Oireachtas.ie

SINN FÉIN’S MARY-LOU McDonald this morning launched an attack on the government over positions for childcare interns advertised on JobBridge that say no experience is required.

During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, McDonald asked Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore if he thought it was appropriate for positions, paying €50 a week on top of social welfare, to be advertised for people with no qualifications.

McDonald referenced an ad placed on the site by Giraffe, one of the creches featured in RTÉ’s recent Prime Time programme which has since been removed.

There are around 30 childcare worker/assistant internships currently offered on the site, with a number of them stating that no experience is required and several requiring only basic secondary school qualifications.

One ad which tells interns they will have “attained skills in managing a group of up to 8 children in a pre school setting” says no experience is required and that while Leaving Certificate Ordinary is necessary, a childcare FETAC is “not essential”.

A number of internships only require completion of Junior Certificate citing a childcare qualification as “an advantage” and one says that only spoken Irish is important.

“Our children are worth more than that, the parents of Ireland expect more than that,” the Sinn Féin TD said today.

Gilmore responded that no JobBridge internship will be approved for any of the creche facilities featured in the programme but did not comment on other internships available through the scheme that require no qualifications.

Related: Van Turnhout “not convinced” HSE equipped to respond to parental concerns>
More: Links Childcare plans CCTV streaming as it tries to ‘repair loss of trust’>
Read: Taoiseach on creche controversy: ‘God knows what has happened in other locations’>

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