Varadkar to scrap controversial JobBridge

Varadkar scraps controversial JobBridge
Leo Varadkar. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Social Protection minister Leo Varadkar is to end JobBridge – the controversial state-supported internship scheme for unemployed workers

The former Minister for Health, Mr Varadkar is just two weeks into his new role but has already decided to scrap the social welfare scheme which has been the subject of intense criticism since its introduction in 2011.

JobBridge sees unemployed people receive an additional €52.50 on top of their weekly dole in return for working as full-time interns at companies across Ireland.

The state-supported work experience programme is aimed at ‘upskilling’ those on social welfare and securing them full-time employment.

However, businesses and state agencies have been accused of abusing the scheme and using it as a source of cheap labour during the economic downturn.

Mr Varadkar said that, in its current form, JobBridge had “served its purpose” but that it should now be replaced with a new model that correlates more effectively to the current jobs market.

The current scheme will remain in place until the review is completed and, when axed, those on programmes will see out the remainder of their internships.

It is expected that the length of internships will be reduced to less than six months when a new programme is introduced by Mr Varadkar.

See more on JobBridge on their website

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