JobBridge teacher ad branded “exploitative”

A JobBridge ad for a primary school teacher in Athlone has been branded “exploitative” and “demeaning” by a local councillor.

The ad, which has since been withdrawn from the JobBridge website, was offering an additional €50 a week on top of social welfare payment for a year’s internship in an Athlone school. The position was being offered to a primary school teacher with a teaching qualification, and would offer “practical experience in teaching”, according to the ad.

However the ad was subsequently withdrawn, after teachers’ union the INTO said they viewed the scheme as “exploitation”.

Local Cllr Paul Hogan said the ad was “exploitive and demeaning to the teaching profession”.

“This disgraceful exploitation of teachers demeans this most important profession. These internships are an attempt by the Department of Education and Skills to employ highly skilled teachers for next to nothing.

“It comes at a time when the casualisation of work practices is forcing thousands of newly qualified teachers to emigrate to find work abroad and I challenge the Education Minister, Ruairí Quinn to give his views on this matter,” said Cllr Hogan.

MEP Paul Murphy, who launched the ScamBridge.ie website this week, said the use of JobBridge to advertise a teaching position was “an attack on the wages, working conditions, and employment opportunities of teachers and teaching graduates alike”.

“If the use of interns becomes a common feature it will further block the access to jobs for teachers and graduates,” he said.

“Many positions across the public sector are being advertised on JobBridge as a cheap way for the Government to fill the holes which have been left by their austerity measures.”

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