Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Social Protection

National Internship Scheme

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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To ask the Minister for Social Protection her plans to extend the internship programme for current participants from nine months to 18 months; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57576/12]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community voluntary sectors and at present is limited to individuals who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance) or are signing on for credits for at least 3 of the last 6 months (78 Days).

The JobBridge Scheme has made significant progress to-date since it came into operation on the 1st July 2011. 13,049 internships have commenced to date with 5,612 participants currently on an internship as at 13th December 2012 and over 2,235 opportunities presently advertised on www.JobBridge.ie. The interim evaluation of JobBridge by Indecon International Economic Consultants (published – 5th October 2012) states that 52.3% of JobBridge finishers progressed into employment with either their host organisation or another employer since finishing their internship. These progression rates compare favourably with European averages in this area.

Given that, in the past, some labour market programmes have been seen as having insignificant or even negative impacts on employment probabilities, this suggests JobBridge is an appropriate labour market intervention. Further information on outcomes will be ascertained as a result of the ongoing formal evaluation of JobBridge. It is anticipated that the final Report will be available in the coming weeks. This evaluation will assess the design, delivery and impact of the JobBridge Scheme, it will provide details of the nature of the work experience of the participants; a measurement of the relevance of that experience to the labour market, analysis of age categories and further findings concerning progression into employment. It will also present recommendations on how the Scheme might be improved. It is at this stage that further consideration will be given to amending the terms and conditions of the Scheme including any potential extensions to the duration of an internship. Any such amendments to the scheme will be notified via the website.


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