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Open thread: How do you feel about low-paying or unpaid internships?

Minister Joan Burton has welcomed criticism of the JobBridge scheme, but what do you think of unpaid internships in general?

Image: Job sign image via Shutterstock

RECENTLY JOAN BURTON, Minister for Social Protection thanked JobBridge critics and said she welcomed even the negative comments about the scheme because it helped the government to address any problems.

With over 425,000 people still unemployed in the country, many people are choosing to work unpaid internships in order to get themselves back into the workforce in the hope of increasing their skills and landing a permanent job.

Some have landed in roles provided by JobBridge, boosting social welfare payments by €50 per week.

Critics have said that some employers use internships and related schemes to exploit the unemployed, asking them to work regular jobs for free (or less than minimum wage) that would normally be done by a full-time employee while offering little training.

However one intern, who is working in a government department through JobBridge, told TheJournal.ie that his time working there has been wholly positive with the “invaluable” experience he’s gained and the confidence it’s given him.

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It got us thinking, and we want to know what you have to say about it. Do you see the merits of unpaid internships and, for those of you who have worked as interns, what were the positive aspects?

Tell us in the comments below…

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