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Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD raises JobBridge at the Ard Fheis

7 March, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

37,000 people have participated on JobBridge.

And sure you will come across some who have had a positive experience but the impact of the scheme goes far beyond the individual participants.

JobBridge is the central plank of the government’s Action Plan on Jobs.  It is a one-size-fits all labour market policy with negative impacts across the labour market as a whole.

JobBridge is guilty of displacing jobs.

3% of host employers admitted to Indecon that they were using JobBridge to displace existing paid positions. That’s the equivalent of 494 employers who were honest enough at least to admit it.

JobBridge is guilty of promoting wage avoidance.

A whopping 29% of host employers admitted to Indecon that if JobBridge didn’t exist they would’ve taken someone on in paid employment.

JobBridge is normalising work for no pay.

The vast majority of JobBridge placements have little or no educational value.

JobBridge is beyond repair and needs to be abolished.

Last month Sinn Féin published a policy document calling for the abolition of JobBridge and outlining a better approach.  This document benefited from the insights of stakeholders including trade unions and youth sector NGOs.

It argues that the one-size-fits all JobBridge scheme should be replaced with 5 things:

  • An expanded apprenticeship system
  • Greater use of JobsPlus which is a scheme that subsidises real jobs with real pay for the long term unemployed
  • Paid in-work training as appropriate as part of paid entry-level positions
  • And a smaller, tailored internship system supported through social welfare spending that is designed and regulated with the agreement and approval of the relevant trade unions on a sector-by-sector basis.

Our emigrants need jobs to come home to. Our young people need jobs to start off in. We cannot allow JobBridge to continue displacing work.  It is the JobBridge scheme itself that requires displacing.

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