Three out of five JobBridge interns secure employment

Almost 17,000 people participated in scheme since its inception

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton with Martin Murphy, managing director of HP Ireland, at the launch of the JobBridge internship scheme. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton with Martin Murphy, managing director of HP Ireland, at the launch of the JobBridge internship scheme. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Thu, May 2, 2013, 06:00

An independent evaluation of the Government’s JobBridge scheme has found that three out of five interns have secured paid employment, despite just over half of all respondents completing their placement.

The independent review, which was carried out by Indecon, sent out 4,401 surveys to interns, of which 53.7 per cent replied. A total of 16,791 interns took part in the scheme, so the review incorporates feedback from 14 per cent of all JobBridge interns since the scheme launched in June 2011.

Of the 6,030 host organisations that employed interns, the survey was sent to 3,021, of which 1,504 replied.

The review found that five months after their internships ended 61 per cent of JobBridge interns that went into full time employment, with 26 per cent stayed with their host organisation, 12 per cent became employed in the same sector, while 23 per cent moved to another sector.

This is an improvement on the previous independent review, which stated that 52 per cent of interns went into employment.

Of those who did not find employment, 3 per cent have emigrated, 23 per cent are seeking employment, 8 per cent are in further education and training and 5 per cent have completed short-term employment.

Of those interns who have found employment 31 per cent were very satisfied with their JobBridge experience, while 8 per cent are very dissatisfied. A total of 51 per cent of those who have found employment are satisfied, with 14 per cent very dissatisfied.

When it comes to host organisation satisfaction, 51 per cent say they are very satisfied and 1 per cent said they are very unsatisfied.

A total of 950 people that replied said they did not complete their placement. Of those, 641 said they decided to end their internship themselves, while 165 says the host organisation ended the internship.

Speaking at the report’s launch in LinkedIn’s Dublin Office yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said ending long-term unemployment was one of the Government’s priorities.

“Addressing long term unemployment is now the toughest challenge that this Government will have to face. The issue of jobless households and inter-generational poverty has been something that previous Governments have long ignored.

“I firmly believe that gainful employment is the best solution to poverty.”

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said that there have been 1,700 investigations into companies breaking JobBridge terms and conditions and 15 companies have already been expelled.

She said that some companies don’t design internships affectively, that displacing full-time employees is an issues and in some cases, there is nobody allocated to deal with the interns to ensure the scheme is beneficial to them.

“The evidence shows that the majority of employers and interns gain significantly from JobBridge. I would encourage employers and jobseekers who have not yet considered availing of JobBridge to do so, and see the huge benefits it could bring them,” she said.

To take part in the scheme, applicants have to be in receipt of social welfare for at least three months.

Successful applicants are offered either six- or nine-month internships, along with €50 per week on top of social welfare payments.