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There are 24 JobBridge interns in government departments

Eleven of them are in the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 24 people availing of JobBridge internships at government departments.

The junior minister at the Department of Social Protection Kevin Humphreys yesterday told the Dáil that the staff get “good quality work experience”.

Responding to a question from Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins, Humphreys said that the government had employed 330 people on the scheme since 2011.

He added that his own department, who oversees the scheme, has had eight interns in the last three years and that some had “moved on to prestigious employment”.

There are currently 11 interns in the Department of Communications and four in Justice and Equality.

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Under JobBridge, social welfare recipients receive an extra €50 per week.

Higgins called the use of people on JobBridge “cynical”, saying that it was “yellow pack cheap labour”.

Humphreys said he was “disappointed” in Higgins’s criticism of the scheme, adding that he has talked to many young men and women in recent months who have taken up internships.

“They have told me, overwhelmingly, that they have got the experience to go back into employment. That is what JobBridge is doing; it is not about roars, screams and catchphrases. It is about providing experience to young people to allow them to get back into employment. That is something I support.”

Read: JobBridge ads for school cleaners and caretakers taken down – but you can still be a janitor

Read: 217 people have worked JobBridge internships in government departments

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