HSE defends JobBridge post seeking psychologist

Position will ‘bridge the gap between study and the beginning of their working lives’

The HSE has defended its decision to post a job opening for a clinical psychologist in Waterford on the JobBridge website, saying the position would "provide a stepping stone" for jobseekers.

The advert, which was posted on the JobBridge internship scheme website on Monday, is seeking an individual with a degree in psychology and a master’s in psychology in a relevant clinical area. The individual would receive an allowance of €50 per week in addition to their weekly social welfare payment.

The post will require 30 hours work per week at the Waterford Mental Health Services over a period of nine months.

The chosen intern will “gain practical experience in devising and collating data for clinical research projects, audit and service developments”, says the advertisement.

The intern will receive “formal/informal training” in clinical audit, research ethics, research skills relevant to clinical psychology, service evaluation scoring, interpretation of psychometric tests, assisting to run therapy groups and project management.

The job description adds that clinical duties will be carried out under supervision at an “appropriate level” for the intern.

A statement from the HSE said the internship would provide entry level clinical psychologists the chance to develop the relevant experience they need before moving on to a trainee job.

“The aim of the National Internship Scheme is to assist in breaking the cycle where jobseekers are unable to get a job without experience, either as new entrants to the labour market after education or training or as unemployed workers wishing to learn new skills,” said the statement from the HSE. “The scheme also gives people a real opportunity to gain valuable experience to bridge the gap between study and the beginning of their working lives.”

The JobBridge posting reminds applicants in bold that the position “is an internship” and that the skills required include “excellent written and oral communication skills” as well as being a “good team worker, good problem solving abilities, enthusiastic, reliable and trustworthy”. It adds that no prior experience is required for the position.