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JobBridge could only work if…

With JobBridge in the news again I couldn’t resist to clearly put myself in the ranks of those who are against it. Not like the Socialist Pary members like Paul Murphy MEP who writes JobBridge to nowhere! (I like the article!), but quite close to it. The internship scheme is a good idea and could work quite well if done right. The one we have today is very, very far from it. It is no surprise it is causing such all these troubles for the government, with the majority of people expressing themselves unusually vocally about it. And the majority of the votes are the NO votes for the national internship programme.

The internship programme could actually work well. If… If the rules are set right. Imagine that a company can ONLY get an intern if the intern will be doing exactly what the company specialises in, and if the intern will learn skills during the internship that will make him the very attractive hire for the same company he got an internship from? To put this in real life example the rules should look somewhat like this:

1. No internships for the jobs that are paid minimum wage (by that same company). Why? The government has a chance to get unemployed placed in the job and it should aim highest possible paid ones.
2. Internship can be offered where the work performed is one of the core skills of the company. A marketing company can have a marketing intern, not a web designer. A web design company can have a web designer as an intern, not a marketing person. Why? Simply because the internship is there for the intern to learn.
3. Strictly no receptionist, admin, PA, and similar internships.
4. A company must provide a Mentor for the intern. Such a mentor should prove he/she will dedicate 10% of the working time to the Intern for the training. A mentor must be a senior staff member (in years of experience) and have the skills relevant to the internship.

The internship should be exactly the same as the initial training a new hire gets in the first few months on the job. It would give the company an extended period to test and try the intern before they make a hire. A trained intern after 6 months of the internship should be a far more interesting hire than a new candidate since the company has already invested in the intern who is ready to start the work immediately (or has been doing it for the months already).

Wouldn’t this make far more sense than the Internship programme we have today?

By Ivan |

Ivan A. Stojnanovic
Founder of Portal Ltd.
MD of and

3 replies on “JobBridge could only work if…”


I just thought you might like to hear an opinion on a jobbridge internship. I have been unemployed since Christmas 2011 and after over four months of not getting any responses to job applications, or any phone calls from agencies, two interviews where the companies did not even call me back or respond to say what had happened as a result of my interview – a common despicable practice by the way, I was climbing the walls. I am lets say over 40 yrs old and have had a strong career in PA/Admin, Marketing and Conference rolls and 5 years running my own Wedding business. An unblemished CV starting with 7 years experience with Bank of Ireland, I never had any trouble previously in my career getting any job and walked from one position into the next I have worked with major multinationals in the UK and Paris.

I started to look at internships, maybe there was a new skill I could acquire – maybe I could retrain in an industry that was more relevant now in 2012. I am not a “tech – y” person, I don’t love IT, I didn’t want to work in a call centre, however, one day I spotted an internship in digital marketing, I had started to look at digital marketing courses but they were expensive and FAS do not provide any when I enquired. This internship would provide on the job digital marketing and social media skills training and allow me to work – I so want to work – even now as I type it – it makes me want to cry – why with all my skills and experience can I not get work – I have a lot to offer. I digress, the internship is now underway nearly 3 months and I am really so happy. I am working with a small start-up company –, the owner is Mike McGrath, a super person and manager. After three months I getting more confident in social media, google analytics and the world of digital marketing, it is a whole other world where I had no experience. I would say any new skills such as these are always valuable. I am indebted to Mike for giving me the opportunity – I am only sorry that for the moment it is not a paid permanent position.

I cannot recommend an internship strongly enough, if you are a person who wants to work and thinks they can benefit from new skills, if you are lucky enough to get the right host company, it will be a positive experience. As an add-on you get back some of your self-respect and confidence and it gets you back “out there” in the world, at home you will gain and get nothing.

I couldn’t agree more. It should be treated as an extended form of the recruitment process. More so, I believe it should be restricted to private sector use only. I think the public sector use of interns is ethically wrong. I served as a Temporary Clerical Officer within a government department and, despite the continued workload, finance would not sanction an extension of my contract. Despite this they continued to enlist interns, and still do, to carry out admin work. At a time when the public sector is in the middle of a recruitment freeze they still deem it acceptable to hire interns. These interns will have zero opportunity of full employment within the departments and after the internship usually end up back where they began on social welfare.
It is unlikely the government will overhaul the internship process as they themselves abuse it.

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