New figures indicate that the number of interns participating in the JobBridge initiative in Mayo to date is 1,016, with 202 currently enrolled in the scheme. However, a recent report suggests that significant reform is needed to enhance the experience of participants and increase their progression into secure employment.
Internships may have a role to play, but only if properly structured and controlled.
That is according to the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI ) report JobBridge: Stepping Stone or Dead End? which was published recently. The study explores the views and experiences of young people aged 18 to 25 years who participated in the national internship scheme, JobBridge.
Speaking at the launch, author of the report James Doorley, NYCI deputy director, said: “The scheme has been the subject of much political debate, public comment, and press attention. However, we wanted to get behind the headlines and engage directly with the real experts, that is, the participants on the scheme themselves.”
The study provides data and analysis on young people’s experiences of JobBridge. Some of the key figures reveal: There have been 36,434 participants in scheme - of whom 10,125 were under 25 years of age (up to January 2015 ). More than 375 host organisations have taken on 10 or more interns
Forty five per cent of the 65,686 JobBridge positions advertised have not been filled.
Gaining work experience was the primary motivating factor for participation in the scheme. The report found 41 per cent stated they were treated like other team members by the host organisation during the internship, however 22 per cent stated they were not. Fifty seven per cent indicated they were satisfied with their internship, with 31 per cent dissatisfied . There was a 100 per cent dissatisfaction rating among those who stated they were compelled to participate by the Department of Social Protection, while 45 per cent would recommend JobBridge to another jobseeker, with 31 per cent saying they would not. Sixty eight per cent stated that they agreed the scheme gave them valuable work experience, however 44 per cent agreed that the internship was used for free labour. While 27 per cent secured full time employment and 14 per cent secured part time employment following their internship, 31 per cent remained. unemployed