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JobBridge must be scrapped now – Ó Snodaigh

24 February, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking after the National Youth Council launched their report into the JobBridge scheme, Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Social Protection has said that the damning report only confirms that the scheme needs to be scrapped immediately and drew attention to Sinn Féin’s alternative proposals contained in the policy document “Displacing JobBridge” released last week.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“In June 2011, the government introduced the JobBridge scheme and it has become the central plank of their jobs strategy. Although some individuals may have had a positive experience, it is a scheme which leaves thousands of jobseekers vulnerable to exploitation. Today’s report by the National Youth Council only affirms this belief.”

“It is a scheme that has already reduced the number of real job opportunities available and if it is not closed down now then thousands of new paid entry level positions that should come into being in the months and years ahead will emerge as unpaid internships instead.”

“A 100% dissatisfaction rate from those who felt they had been forced into the scheme by the Department of Social Protection holding their access to welfare ransom speaks for itself. 44% of those surveyed in the report feel they were treated as free labour. How can we treat people like that in a fair society?”

“Sinn Féin is committed to bringing about a fair recovery. We are focused on getting people back to work and bringing our young people home. That is why we have brought forward an alternative.”

 “It envisages a substantial increase in the range of apprenticeships available. The model we propose would not displace apprenticeships, paid in-work training or jobs. It would afford those genuinely in need of some work experience with meaningful learning opportunities.”

 “The government rhetoric that JobBridge is working is clearly a falsehood. It is a scheme that maximises the benefits to the employer through free labour and the government through lower live register figures, while minimising any benefit to workers.”

“Sinn Féin’s proposals maximise decent pay for decent work.” 

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