JobBridge… April 26, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Good investigation in the SBP to JobBridge. It’s telling that it is the SBP that has done this, for it isn’t afraid to point to commercial organisations and state organisations which have used it:
…the largest user over its five year lifetime is the HSE which used it 399 times… followed by the GAA (249 internees), Teagasc (184), UCD (184), Hewlett-Packard (176), SuperValu (161) and the ESB (157).
It notes that ‘there is no implication of wrongdoing on behalf of any of these companies. The Department of Social Protection it says is ‘now understood to be advancing plans to name and shame companies found abusing the programme’.
The SBP report is two pages long and lists a range of problems with the scheme – for example in the HSE certain positions filled with JobBridge ‘interns’ do not count as experience for career or qualifications. There are oddities. SuperValu was sixth on the list of high users, but three outlets used the ‘vast majority’ of those employed. Hewlett-Packard, and IBM, both used interns, but as the SBP notes these are companies that have vast profits – in fairness IBM suggests 60-70 per cent of those on the scheme wound up full time employees of the company.
A further point was made by some involved, that by its very existence JobBridge distorts ‘the nature of entry-level employment’ leading to yet another barrier to entry where, as one person on it noted:
Employers expect somebody to come for a job with one or two internships to show that they’re suitable. I think that’s damaging because you’re postponing people’s entry even if they’ve got their qualifications.
The SBP editorial flat out calls for JobBridge to be shut down. It notes that the concept is good but that the actual experience, one where ‘there have been hundreds of complaints to the Department by interns, who are by their very nature vulnerable and underpowered’ is problematic in the extreme. It suggests that the Department ‘has shown little capacity to police and punish those who misses and abuse the scheme’.
And it points to a fundamental issue:
When it comes to private sector companies, there must also be considerable questions about why the state should subsidise their entry level positions, especially when a company is profitable. These positions should be generating payroll and income taxes for the state.