Ógra Fianna Fáil Reiterate Criticism of Jobs Initiative

North Tipperary Ógra Fianna Fáil has reiterated its criticism of the government’s implementation of the Jobs Direct internship scheme, which was launched as part of the governments Jobs Initiative last May. The government launched the scheme with the intention of providing work experience placements for up to 5,000 interns, allowing people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through quality internships. However at a recent meeting of North Tipperary Ógra Fianna Fáil, the chairman of Newport Ógra Fianna Fáil, Greg Moroney, sought to reiterate the numerous flaws which are to be found throughout the entire scheme. It was highlighted that the internship scheme, created in order to provide on-site training for white collar jobs, was instead being abused by certain employers who wish to simply have continual access to a workforce free of charge. Mr Moroney outlined that “there are dozens of employers who are essentially using this initiative in order to dress unskilled labour positions into an internship position in order to get staff free of charge at the expense of the state. There are dozens of internship positions which are currently offered under the scheme, such as positions as shop and cleaner assistants, which are not suited as part of an internship scheme. Such positions are more often than not offered by companies which are highly profitable. There should be little doubt that these firms could in fact afford to take on full time staff but instead are choosing to abuse the scheme in order to get access to free labour. Such phony internship positions are starving our economy of real wage paying jobs at a time when employment levels are reaching record levels and people are desperate to find work to provide for themselves and their families”.  Furthermore Mr Moroney went on to criticize the stringent work experience and educational requirements being demanded by some companies operating under the scheme. “Internship positions exist in the first instance in order to allow people with little prior work experience enter into the workplace and gain valuable in-house work experience within a company itself. It’s all about on the job training. However a number of positions being offered under the scheme require applicants to have extensive prior work experience in order to be allowed even be considered for the internship position, which undermines the entire purpose of the internship scheme in the first instance. What’s worse is the fact that there are some firms which are demanding that their applicants must have obtained master degrees or higher educational certificates before even applying. As it stands the internship scheme is helping to lock people with lower qualifications out of a job – jobs which before they could rely on as a stepping stone into a career.” Mr Moroney brought into question the government’s long term commitment to the Jobs Direct internship scheme, noting that concerns which were previously raised on numerous occasions during the summer months are yet to be rectified by the government. “The numerous inadequacies of the jobs initiative have been highlighted again and again by North Tipperary Ógra Fianna Fáil. They have also been exposed in depth within the national media – yet we are still waiting for decisive action by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton on this matter. The Minister and her fellow Labour colleagues were quick off the mark to extract as much positive publicity when they announced the scheme last May, but it seems they are not so quick off the mark when it comes to actually ensuring the scheme operates as it should do.”. For more information or to join North Tipperary Ogra Fianna Fail please email northtippogra@gmail.com or join us on www.facebook.com/ntoff.

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