Low Pay Commission needs to consider ‘no pay’ as well as ‘low pay’ – IMPACT

Aongas O Snodaigh TD, Joe O'Connor organiser IMPACT, Dr Mary Murphy NUI Maynooth & IMPACT deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan
Aongas O Snodaigh TD, Joe O’Connor organiser IMPACT, Dr Mary Murphy NUI Maynooth & IMPACT deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan

IMPACT, Ireland’s largest public service trade union, has launched a report today (Monday 13th April) called JobBridge: Time to start again? which asks for the JobBridge scheme to be scrapped and for the Low Pay Commission to examine the prevalence of open market unpaid internships.

Kevin Callinan, Deputy General Secretary with IMPACT trade union, commissioned the report on the back of growing concerns within IMPACT’s Education division at the improper use of the JobBridge scheme following the advertisement of Special Needs Assistant posts on the JobBridge website in autumn 2014.

He said “Decent work is the issue of our time, and precarious employment is grabbing more and more media attention. IMPACT is looking for a commitment from government that they will address the many issues this report on JobBridge and internship schemes raises.

The report is written by Dr Mary Murphy of Maynooth University, and calls for targeted programmes aimed at distinct groups with varying labour market integration needs such as programmes targeting young unemployed early school leavers, graduates, and long-term unemployed people.

Main findings of the report:

  • Progression outcomes are uneven, and there is no data
  • Only 5% of JobBridge participants are monitored, there is little in the way of penalties and compliance is difficult to secure
  • €85m has been invested in JobBridge, with significant deadweight of 48% as this number would have gotten jobs anyhow
  • significant displacement of employment especially regarding entry level jobs
  • One-size fits all approach needs to be scrapped

The Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys, T.D. with Special Responsibility for Activation welcomed the report at the launch in Buswells. Minister Humphreys defended the JobBridge scheme which he said was “created to target massive unemployment and forced emigration”.

However he said that “the time is right to review and revise JobBridge and due consideration will be paid to the report”.