The ‘Labour’ minister that provides ‘free labour’ was on the high horse yesterday to inform us of the success of the JobBridge scheme. Although if one was to judge from the comments section of this article “38 per cent of JobBridge interns go straight into full-time jobs” success is the last word one would use to describe the schemes effectiveness.
The report was the final draft of a report that provided an interim analysis in Oct 2012. That analysis has been subject to sceptical reviews available here and here
While the above articles cast doubt over the findings of the report, there are also issues which the report does little to address, namely the concerns expressed by the Communications Workers’ Union Youth Committee in Nov 2012,
The scheme depresses job creation by creating a pool of free labour for employers
The scheme is inherently exploitative and young people are particularly vulnerable
The scheme will inevitably result in job displacement
The scheme puts downward pressure on wage levels across all sectors of the economy
The scheme is being used to fill the labour gap in the public sector created by the current recruitment embargo
All workers deserve to be paid for their labour
Coincidently those concerns listed above seem to concur with the comments expressed in the Journal.ie article, some of the comments are listed below……
“Delighted to say I am happily in fulltime employment with the company I spent my 9month placement with seems they are few and far between!!
“Job bridge is a complete scam which allows the abuse of an unemployed person for 9 months , the companies profiting from this scheme should be named shamed and boycotted . The other thing it contributes to is keeping skilled and educated people out of work by filling the position with a €50 euro a week worker” .
“it’s forcing skilled workers into underpaid, non unionised labour by threatening to cut their dole entirely.Why the hell would companies hire full time workers when they get paid to take in interns for free! It’s a scam”.
The overwhelming majority of comments were negative about Jobbridge, maybe the Indecon people did’nt get the right sample!!!!!
However at the end of the day the success rate for Jobbridge will be determined by the number of people that wish to participate, no one is forced to do so. There is no doubt many younger participants will take a chance on an internship in the hope of landing a full time position and of course the experience will add to their CV. The high drop out rate is perhaps indicative of participants realising during their internship that they were in an exploitative situation with no hope of gaining from it. Furthermore “only 41% of internships were completed in full, 33% of those who did not complete the scheme cited “dissatisfaction” with JobBridge as the reason for dropping out.
Perhaps now though it is more important to focus on the ill-effects of such schemes, as a graduate I am reliably informed that many new graduates emigrating to find work have expressed disgust at Jobbridge, viewing it as an extra impediment in their attempts to find well paid employment at home. This is reflected by the analysis that states “ 6.2% of “hosts” said they would have been highly likely to have offered paid employment to JobBridge interns in the absence of the scheme, while 22.6% indicated that they would have been fairly likely to. There are also opinions that the scheme is being exploited by many public sector organisations.
However I would challenge any member of the Labour Party to stand over a scheme that would allow the following to occur
“This internship thing is slave labour simple as. I recently dropped out after 3 weeks of a 6 month internship. Basically I was told I would be monitored by the warehouse manager which did’nt happen because the place was so busy. Now despite that I have to say I picked up on most things pretty quickly and by the second week I was working just as hard and as good as the other full time lads that were there. So i thought hang on a minute im being exploited here. I mean they could have taken me on for at least minimum wage starting off. My contract ended just after christmas and it dawned on me that there just planning on using me as free labour for their busy christmas period then drop me afterwards. Im not suprised to hear 75% of participants dropped out, its hard to give much effort everyday in a job that your not getting paid for and in the back of your mind thinking constantly theres no guarantee of a job, it messes with your mind because your thinking im working flat out but im still unemployed, w.t.f!!!
On average the lads that worked there would have been getting about 10 euro per hour, so I reckon in just those three weeks I was there I made that boss 1200 richer paid for in my sweat. If there was no internship scheme they would have to train new recruits eventually and pay them a full time wage anyway so the internship changes nothing in fact it just makes it longer for the jobless rate to go down as there all just jumping on this internship bandwagon!”
James Connolly must be turning in his grave !!!