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Job? Bridge January 29, 2013

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Uncategorized.

Interesting report obtained by the The Irish Times which recomends

 extending the scheme to participants with no previous social welfare entitlement.

As a result, these interns would not receive any payment from the State.

But the report states that “consideration should be given to paying the €50 weekly JobBridge allowance to the small number of participants without basic welfare payments.”

and goes on to say

This study found that some schemes ran the risk of making people dependent on social assistance.



1. CL - January 29, 2013

As Ireland moves from a welfare to a workfare state under Joan Burton it is important to force people onto the severely depressed labour market at very low wages. These Thatcherite ‘job activation’ measures will be legitimated by references to ‘high level issues papers’ and ‘best international practice’, and other obfuscatory b.s. but the objective is to further commodify labour power and reduce working class living standards.


2. eoinmadden - January 29, 2013

And while profitable corporations want us to work for nothing, or have work paid by the state, they are simultaneously lobbying for their executives to pay a lower rate of income tax because they are worth it.



Ed - January 29, 2013

Wow, that article is a master-class in propaganda: 16 paragraphs, 10 given over to direct quotation or paraphrase of what the US chamber of commerce says, not a single line given to an opposing point of view – just half a sentence referring to nameless ‘critics’ who are immediately slapped down by a quote from Michael Noonan. A Pravda journalist would have been ashamed to write something that crude.


CL - January 29, 2013

This right-wing collective, known as the American Chamber of Commerce, has been waging class warfare on American workers for a 100 years. That it is now determining Irish government fiscal policy shows the retrogressive, anti-worker nature of the F.G./Labour coalition.


3. hardcore for nerds - January 29, 2013

The earlier Fás Work Placement Programme (WPP), which had a graduate and non-graduate element, didn’t require participants to be claiming social welfare, and didn’t pay any extra money. I was on one at the time (in the PS) when the Jobbridge scheme was announced, and I couldn’t switch over to claim the €50 because I wasn’t on the dole. I always assumed it was because they wanted to limit/target the scheme to the officially unemployed (i.e. the Live Register) not just anyone looking for a job after college, and also reduce the amount of total incentives they would have to pay out.

Rather than creating ‘dependency’ on social welfare – which is a function of not having jobs – I would cynically suspect that the real reason behind this is not to create the situation where the numbers claiming unemployment benefit is somewhat artificially heightened by graduates from well-off families doing so mainly to access what are effectively just internship opportunities. After all, I can’t think how an unemployed person could NOT be claiming social welfare unless the were living in the parental home above the JB ‘board and provisions’ threshold or otherwise had what used to be called ‘independent income’. Plus there’s a stigma (and bureaucratic hassle) about the dole that middle-class families would rather avoid for their offspring – the fact that corporate welfare (in the form of effectively unpaid internships) is seen as worthier than social welfare is one of the great ironies of recessionary capitalism.

One final thing – people (myself not excluded) love to give out about Jobbridge and the general government attitude to employment and employers, but within certain contexts and within the structural constraints that create the internship model itself, it is possible to have a useful and productive experience on these schemes (as did I in my case, although being in the PS there was no hope of a job at the end; the lack of pay was not a major finanical issue for me but it did rankle after a while, though at least I knew my work wasn’t – directly, at least – creating corporate profits, which is part of what encouraged me to take it up originally, as a way to part-circumvent the recruitment embargo on the PS). It’s important to recognise the range of lived experiences (worked experiences, perhaps?) in these cases and not drown them out in political rhetoric.


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