Key stakeholders agree that JobBridge is beyond repair – Ó Snodaigh TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh today facilitated a roundtable meeting with key stakeholders and unions who unanimously agreed that the JobBridge scheme is failing young people by displacing paid work and compounding under-employment.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Mandate, SIPTU, Unite, ICTU Youth, the National Youth Council of Ireland, Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed and the We’re Not Leaving Campaign.
Speaking afterwards Deputy Ó Snodaigh said he will be launching his party’s alternative proposals for an internship scheme next week.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“I have used a series of opportunities including Dáil debates with the Minister herself and discussions with Department to highlight the pitfalls of JobBridge and to make constructive suggestions for improvement. These suggestions have fallen on deaf ears.
“The Minister refused to accept the negatives outlined to her as negatives at all. And hence no meaningful reform was forthcoming. The scheme has been expanded on and is now the central plank of the government’s Action Plan for Jobs.
“Sinn Féin commenced a consultation process 18 months ago with a view to developing proposals for an alternative to the JobBridge scheme. We have met with a number of trade unions operating in sectors where JobBridge was having an impact including the INTO, Mandate and ICTU Youth as well as engaging with the public for feedback on the scheme.
“Today Sinn Féin met with key stakeholders including representatives from Mandate, SIPTU, Unite, ICTU Youth, the National Youth Council of Ireland, Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed and the We’re Not Leaving Campaign.
“All have expressed major concerns over the past two years. We are now in the process of finalising our evaluation of the scheme prior to the official launch of alternatives to JobBridge next Thursday.
“Minister Joan Burton, Junior Minister Kevin Humphreys and chair of the JobBridge Monitoring Group Hewlett Packard CEO Martin Murphy and Employer Representative bodies were also invited though the invitation was declined by all.
“Today’s meeting was hugely positive and it was roundly accepted that JobBridge displaces paid work, depresses job creation and facilitates wage avoidance. Not only that, it places good employers at a competitive disadvantage as well as compounding the crisis of under-employment. It has insufficient monitoring mechanisms and sanctions. The JobBridge scheme is beyond repair.
“Sinn Féin is launching an alternative scheme which will address all these deficiencies. Our young people and unemployed have been badly treated by this Government for too long. There is a better way and Sinn Féin will deliver it. People deserve real jobs for real pay.”