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

A school in Mayo has found a loophole, it seems.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has said all jobs for school cleaners and caretakers have been removed from the JobBridge site.

RTÉ News revealed this week that the positions were being advertised, resulting in the Tánaiste Joan Burton stating that such ads were not the best use of the scheme.

She said the internships must be a developmental opportunity.

Last night, a spokesperson for her department told RTÉ News that all the positions for cleaners and caretakers in schools had been removed. There was a concern that the internships were displacing real jobs.

There are about 40 intern positions in schools still available through the programme, including secretary, librarian and general assistant roles.

There is also still one posting for a school janitor in Swinford. The job ad says the successful applicant will gain practical experience in school janitor duties such as general maintenance, DIY, cleaning, gardening and repair.

“On completion the intern will have attained skills in communication, organisational skills and time management skills,” the school claims, adding that the Principal will be the intern’s mentor.

Other jobs

A large number of Special Needs Assistants are also being sought for schools through JobBridge.

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has said she will look at the issue but warned that her department has no power to tell schools not to use the scheme “in this way”.

However, schools are no longer allowed to advertise ‘Classroom Assistant’ jobs as the position does not exist in the education system.

A note on the website explains:

We at the JobBridge Policy Unit have received communication from both the Department of Education & Science and IMPACT Union to advise that there is no grade or post of Classroom Assistant within the Irish Education system.

In light of this information and advice the recent advertisement for an Internship as a Classroom Assistant cannot continue to be advertised as a JobBridge, National Internship.

One posting has leaked through in Killarney with a school looking for a Cúntoir Ranga/School Assistant.

There have been further calls this week for the entire scheme to be scrapped., a campaign set up by former MEP Paul Murphy, believes the scheme is exploitative.

Murphy said yesterday: “If hiring cleaners is ‘not best use’ of the scheme then a majority of the positions advertised on the scheme would fall into this category – baristas, groundskeepers, even potato pickers. The scheme is being wholly abused to fill what are jobs.

“If there is a recovery in the economy, and we are to believe Joan Burton that jobs will follow, surely it is time to scrap JobBridge as it is acting as a break on the creation of paid jobs and seeing them replaced with internships.”

JobBridge workers receive a €50 top-up on their social welfare payments during the nine-month placements.

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