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JobBridge scheme seeking fully qualified solicitors ‘a joke’ – Ó Snodaigh

26 March, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh has described a JobBridge scheme which is seeking fully qualified solicitors as ‘exploitative to the extreme’ and ‘a joke’.  

Deputy Ó Snodaigh has blasted the scheme for hiring graduates who have already had up to two years’ work experience as a part of their qualification and has written to the Law Council of Ireland to highlight how the scheme is denigrating solicitors’ qualifications.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“I have written to the Law Council of Ireland on this matter as it implies that a fully qualified solicitor, who is on the role of solicitors in Ireland and who is eligible to hold a practising certificate as issued by the Law Society of Ireland, is in fact wanting of experience.

“JobBridge offers people work for nothing. Joan Burton has loudly proclaimed that it will ‘help people gain valuable work experience’. However this work offers no structure or training to those who are in need of qualifications. For those who have already put in a lot of unpaid or low paid work experience to get their qualifications, it is a joke.  

“Qualified solicitors already have up to two years of experience as part of their qualification, usually on a very low wage. Trainee solicitors work in law firms for months at a time as part of gaining their professional qualifications through the Law Society. That firms are allowed to employ these graduates under the JobBridge scheme is exploitative to the extreme.

“This flies in the face of what JobBridge is supposed to be about. JobBridge has placed additional, unnecessary internship schemes which ignore the practical training that has already been completed. It does not offer meaningful experience for countless thousands.

“The scheme is also preventing fully-trained or qualified professionals attaining full-time employment at the going rate by allowing employers to hire people at a cost far below minimum wage.

“JobBridge is not working – it is a scheme that benefits employers, exploits workers and allows the government to exaggerate employment figures.

“Sinn Féin has introduced an alternative to JobBridge which proposes to bring about a fair recovery as well as offer decent pay for decent work. The people of Ireland deserve better.”

Link to JobBridge internship for fully qualified solicitor

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