Published on Wednesday 29th June 2011

JobBridge: Government issues call to action for quality work experiences on internship scheme

Government working with private, voluntary and community sectors people without jobs and for the benefit of our country – Taoiseach

Speaking at the launch of JobBridge, the new National Internship Scheme today (Wednesday 29th June 2011), Joan Burton TD, the Minister for Social Protection, said she was very encouraged by the positive feedback from many employers to the new National Internship Scheme.

 Minister Burton said:

“Already Mr. Murphy and Mr. Sean O’Driscoll, Chief Executive of Glen Dimplex as private sector champions of JobBridge have confirmed the commitment of a large number of leading Irish and multinational companies to JobBridge.

“There is strong interest in participating in an initiative such as JobBridge. We have already received 500 expressions of interests from organisations offering approximately 1,000 internship opportunities. Over 320 of the members of ISME are committed to JobBridge with a pledge of over 590 internship places and some 288 of the over 320 members will have their vacancies available within 3 months.”

Companies which have endorsed JobBridge include Dawn Foods, KPMG, Arthur Cox, Mercury Engineering, Hertz, Hertz Shared Services Centre, ESB, Bord na Móna, Tesco, Price Waterhouse Coopers, A&L Goodbody and Aer Lingus.

 Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said:

“The Government is committed to getting Ireland back to work and JobBridge is an important part of that effort. Establishing a National Internship Scheme was a flagship commitment in last month’s Job Initiative. I believe that we need a collective effort by all sectors of society to tackle the challenges facing the country. JobBridge is just such a collective effort – with the goal of ensuring that we offer people the opportunity to gain work experience through a quality internship.”

 Mr Martin Murphy, Managing Director of HP Ireland noted that:

From indigenous industry to multinationals to SMEs across a number of counties in Ireland, we have experienced the willingness of industry to play its role to equip individuals with new and enterprising skills that will give them the necessary experience to enter or return to the workforce and secure long term employment in this country.

The Steering Committee is a new example of how industry and the government can work together to instigate real change, and my hope is that this is the first of many such examples. We are confident that we can exceed the ambitious targets that have been set for the National Internship Scheme. We look forward to working with the companies and interns alike to build and develop a new model to deliver real value to all involved.”

Minister Burton concluded by saying: “I appreciate that, in the current climate, recruitment is a big decision for employers, particularly for small and medium enterprises. I would hope that some employers who, through JobBridge find talented and motivated interns, can make the decision to offer employment to their intern. In other words, the period of internship would be a job interview for a longer period of employment.”

“I have long advocated that industry should be leading the way in innovation and job creation in the Irish economy and I am extremely pleased by the positive reaction that we have received to date on this initiative, with over 15 companies pledging their commitment to this programme prior to its commencement. “The Government is committed to getting Ireland back to work and JobBridge is an important part of that effort. Establishing a National Internship Scheme was a flagship commitment in last month’s Job Initiative. I believe that we need a collective effort by all sectors of society to tackle the challenges facing the country. JobBridge is just such a collective effort – with the goal of ensuring that we offer people the opportunity to gain work experience through a quality internship.” “The launch of 5,000 places in JobBridge by my Department will offer a real chance to many people to get six or nine months of critical work experience – a foot on the ladder after training, apprenticeship or graduation. The commitment of the private sector, led by Mr. Martin Murphy, Managing Director of HP Ireland who has chaired the Steering Group on the National Internship Scheme will, I hope, result in a wide range of internship opportunities opening up.

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