42. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her views on the criticisms in the IMPACT report, JobBridge - Time to Start Again?, and her plans to deal with its recommendations. (Question 17317/15 asked on 06 May 2015 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Department welcomes the report and its contribution to the wider debate around labour market and activation policy in a changing economic environment. I am also happy that the report, while making a number of recommendations for change, acknowledges that JobBridge “has been of benefit to many”.
As the report acknowledges, the scheme was introduced in 2011 when the country was in the middle of the worst recession in living mem...

104. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide a breakdown of the money and resources spent promoting the JobBridge Scheme, including events, advertising and materials. (Question 17770/15 asked on 06 May 2015 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I include a table showing expenditure on the promotion of JobBridge from 2012 to 2014 inclusive. I have included expenditure on software maintenance as the website has a promotional aspect within its broader role.
There was no expenditure on promotion of the scheme in 2011 or 2015. 
Expenditure on the promotion of JobBridge from 2012 to 2014
 Item 2012 2013 2014 Advertising - Magazine Ad - - 2,761.35...

8. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will commission a further, and comprehensive, evaluation of the JobBridge Scheme, in view of the changing economic context in which it operates. (Question 9312/15 asked on 05 Mar 2015 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Will the Minister take an honest look at the JobBridge scheme and its wider interaction with the labour market to ensure that further paying jobs are not displaced, given that the original Indecon report dealt with year 1? It is now four years in place. Does the Minister consider it appropriate at this stage to have a further evaluation?
 ...

24. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her views that the JobBridge monitoring checklist is inadequate and fails to measure the quality of internships in a meaningful way. (Question 9311/15 asked on 05 Mar 2015 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): JobBridge has made significant progress since its introduction in July 2011. To date, over 37,700 internship placements having commenced, there are currently 6,140 interns on the programme and a further 1,129 positions are advertised on the JobBridge website.
Participation both as a host organisation and as an intern on the scheme is voluntary. The Department has a range of monitoring and compliance measures in place. 
JobBridge...

46. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her views on the appropriateness of jobs clubs contracted by her Department to provide courses to jobseekers using JobBridge interns to deliver these classes on their own; her views that this discovery highlights the inadequacy of the safeguards and monitoring mechanisms built into the JobBridge scheme; and if she will take any action in response to the revelations. (Question 4911/15 asked on 05 Feb 2015 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I believe that the Deputy is referring to a recent report on Job Clubs prepared by the internal audit unit of the Department. In preparing this report the Department’s internal auditor raised a query in relation to the appropriateness or otherwise of one Job Club hosting a small number of interns in a role of Job Club instructor. It is important to note in this regard that the Department funds the operation of some fifty Job Clu...

45. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will confirm that every JobBridge participant is covered at all times by their host organisation’s employers liability and public liability insurance. (Question 42297/14 asked on 05 Nov 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 45 and 46 together. 
The General Guidelines of JobBridge, updated on 27 September, 2014, and published on the JobBridge website (www.jobbridge.ie) states: “The Host Organisation’s Public/Employers Liability insurance and Motor insurance, if applicable, will cover any Interns on this Scheme.” Every JobBridge host organisation is required to comply with the terms and conditions of t...

79. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she has had any discussions with the Department of Education and Skills on the use of JobBridge in schools since 20 September 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40053/14 asked on 21 Oct 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Similar to the previous question, in the wake of a public outcry against the use of the JobBridge scheme to fill essential posts in schools last September, a number of advertisements were removed from its website and the Minister for Education and Skills undertook to raise the matter with the Minister for Social Protection. What were the content and outworkings of those discussions?
 ...

64. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her views on the decision to withhold the names of 68% of the companies benefitting from a significant public subsidy via the JobBridge scheme; her views that this creates a secret competitive advantage for those companies funded by the State; her further views that her Department was correct to give companies the option of not having their name shown on the JobBridge website and then to equate this with a commitment of secrecy; and the steps she will take to protect the public interest in the proper and accountable use of public moneys channelled through the JobBridge scheme. (Question 31163/14 asked on 15 Jul 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Cosúil leis an Teachta O’Dea, ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a ghabháil leis an mbeirt Airí agus tá súil agam go mbeidh an chuid seo do thréimhse Rialtais i bhfad níos fearr ná an chuid dheireanach agus go mbeidh siad in ann déileáil le roinnt de na ceisteanna a d’ardaigh muid le tamall.
This question is to find out whether the Tánaiste agrees that the public has the right to know the names of the companies which are getting a subsidy of €82.3 million in the form of milli...

89. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection in view of the NESC finding that 23% of households are underemployed, which is more than twice the EU average, if she is concerned that the JobBridge scheme may be exacerbating the underemployment crisis; if her Department has researched the link between the availability of free labour via the JobBridge scheme and the poverty of hours crisis in certain sectors; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30870/14 asked on 15 Jul 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I am satisfied that JobBridge is not exacerbating under-employment. As independent research has shown it significantly improves the chances of unemployed jobseekers moving into employment. In addition JobBridge is not free labour as suggested by the question – it is an internship scheme which provides unemployed jobseekers with valuable workplace experience and training. In this regard while host organisations do not pay the int...

44. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason for her decision to make JobBridge an involuntary scheme for young persons as part of the Youth Guarantee in view of the regular emphasis she placed on the voluntary nature of participation on the scheme theretofore. (Question 10344/14 asked on 05 Mar 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 27, 41 and 44 together.
The total cost to the Exchequer of JobBridge, including underlying social welfare and top-up payments, is approximately €80m. per annum. JobBridge is one of the key initiatives introduced to assist individuals to bridge the gap between unemployment and the world of work. To date over 26,000 jobseekers and some 12,000 companies have participated in the scheme. There are over 6,500 jobse...

109. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the conclusion of the Union of Students of Ireland in its document, Vision for Post-Bailout Ireland, that the JobBridge scheme is beyond repair and should be phased out; and the steps she will take in response to same. (Question 3955/14 asked on 28 Jan 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Is the Minister aware of the Union of Students in Ireland, USI, document, Vision for Post-Bailout Ireland, and what it has to say on the JobBridge scheme, that the scheme is beyond repair and should be phased out? The USI is the latest of several unions to have come to that conclusion, to have rejected the scheme and to have said it needs to be ended.
 ...

118. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will introduce a new advance filtering system to prevent potentially odious positions from gaining access to JobBridge; and if she will review and report on the effectiveness of existing provisions in this regard. (Question 3525/14 asked on 28 Jan 2014 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 118, 129, 131 and 137 together. 
Following the independent evaluation of JobBridge, the Department is examining a range of measures to make the scheme more effective. I am satisfied that the current robust vetting procedures carried out by the National Contact Centre of the Department are operating effectively to filter out internships that do not meet the rigorous requirements of the scheme criteria.
JobBridg...

131. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide the names of companies or employers that have been blacklisted from the jobBridge scheme and the reason for same.
 (Question 43118/13 asked on 15 Oct 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 and 132 together.
The Department takes the view that there is an overriding public interest in having the identity of host organisations who have been excluded from participation in JobBridge kept confidential on the following basis:
Pursuant to s. 20 (1) of the Freedom of Information Acts (1997-2003), the documents disclosing the identity of the host organisations contain matter relating to the deliberativ...

132. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide the names of the members of the JobBridge steering committee and details of their professional background. (Question 43119/13 asked on 15 Oct 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 and 132 together.
The Department takes the view that there is an overriding public interest in having the identity of host organisations who have been excluded from participation in JobBridge kept confidential on the following basis:
Pursuant to s. 20 (1) of the Freedom of Information Acts (1997-2003), the documents disclosing the identity of the host organisations contain matter relating to the deliberativ...

185. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of meetings of the JobBridge steering group to date; if she will provide a breakdown of all costs associated with the steering group including any remuneration or allowances received by non-civil servant members of the group. (Question 41255/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 to 188, inclusive, together.
The JobBridge National Steering Committee met 6 times in 2013; 7 times in 2012 and 6 times in 2011. The participation of members of the National Steering Committee is not remunerated. They receive no allowances to cover expenses. The meetings are generally held in the Department of Social Protection’s premises. There has been no venue costs to-date. €25.50 has been spent on ...

186. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 101, 107 and 108 on 25 September 2013, in which she advised that 63% of all internships are completed early due to the intern securing paid employment, the proportion of these who entered full-time employment and how many entered permanent, fixed-term or zero hour contract posts, respectively; if such data are collated, and, if not, if she will make arrangements to do so in future. (Question 41256/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 to 188, inclusive, together.
The JobBridge National Steering Committee met 6 times in 2013; 7 times in 2012 and 6 times in 2011. The participation of members of the National Steering Committee is not remunerated. They receive no allowances to cover expenses. The meetings are generally held in the Department of Social Protection’s premises. There has been no venue costs to-date. €25.50 has been spent on ...

187. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 101, 107 and 108 of 25 September 2013, the number of interns who finished early and returned to education, went back to receiving jobseeker’s allowance or another social welfare payment or emigrated. (Question 41257/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 to 188, inclusive, together.
The JobBridge National Steering Committee met 6 times in 2013; 7 times in 2012 and 6 times in 2011. The participation of members of the National Steering Committee is not remunerated. They receive no allowances to cover expenses. The meetings are generally held in the Department of Social Protection’s premises. There has been no venue costs to-date. €25.50 has been spent on ...

188. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of hours the 21,000 participants on JobBridge have worked to date; the total cost of JobBridge to the State so far; and if she will provide a breakdown of same. (Question 41258/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 to 188, inclusive, together.
The JobBridge National Steering Committee met 6 times in 2013; 7 times in 2012 and 6 times in 2011. The participation of members of the National Steering Committee is not remunerated. They receive no allowances to cover expenses. The meetings are generally held in the Department of Social Protection’s premises. There has been no venue costs to-date. €25.50 has been spent on ...

107. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the policy rationale underpinning the decision to expand JobBridge internships to 18 months. (Question 39908/13 asked on 25 Sep 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton) (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 101, 107 and 108 together.
On 18th September, I announced that the maximum cumulative duration of internships would be extended to 18 months. The maximum duration of individual internships will remain 9 months. Individuals will be able to avail of up to 3 internships. Individuals will be permitted to undertake a maximum of one internship with a particular Host Organisation. These change...

108. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide a list of all employers that have availed of JobBridge to date; the number of interns each has taken on; the duration of each of these internships. (Question 39909/13 asked on 25 Sep 2013 - National Internship Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton) (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 101, 107 and 108 together.
On 18th September, I announced that the maximum cumulative duration of internships would be extended to 18 months. The maximum duration of individual internships will remain 9 months. Individuals will be able to avail of up to 3 internships. Individuals will be permitted to undertake a maximum of one internship with a particular Host Organisation. These change...