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JobBridge interns used to teach jobseeker classes

An internal audit flagged that the practice was taking place at Jobs Club classes.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

CONCERNS HAVE BEEN raised over training courses run by the Department of Social Protection for jobseekers after an internal audit flagged that some of those teaching classes were on JobBridge.

The report, seen by RTÉ Radio 1′s This Week programme, also found  that there were inconsistencies surrounding how attendance was kept at these Jobs Club workshops.

Participants are paid €20 per week to attend the courses that aim to boost skills such as CV preparation and help jobseekers to look for and retain jobs.

“The Job Club aims to expand awareness and to help jobseekers understand how the application of simple techniques can greatly enhance their jobseeking skills,” a description on Welfare.ie reads.

They are run by the Department by private contractors at a cost of roughly €6 million per year, according to the details today

The report found inconsistencies in how attendance and absences were recorded, something which the wing of the Department of Social Protection that manages Jobs Clubs has sought to address.

A private contractor used by the Department was also found to be running courses despite falling below the minimum required standard.

Data protection concerns were also raised as some of those on JobBridge and Tús schemes teaching the classes had access to sensitive records.

Some of the interns were running the courses on their own, according to the audit.

A spokesperson for the Department of Social Protection told TheJournal.ie that the Department “will examine and respond as appropriate to the internal audit report”.

“In practice internships are, and can be offered, across all job types from basic entry level roles through to roles with greater responsibilities,” they added, highlighting a high success rate as well as strict controls on the JobBridge scheme.

Read: Fewer people are doing JobBridge internships than expected >

More: Gardaí defend hiring 16 JobBridge interns for €1.25 an hour >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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