Paul Murphy MEP has launched a new website, ScamBridge.org to expose the JobBridge expoloitation scheme.
The JobBridge scheme has been used as a scam for the government to massage the unemployment figures and for many companies to cynically exploit unemployed people. The ScamBridge.org website has been launched to expose this scam and give people an opportunity to share their stories of exploitation. The latest figures suggest that just 400 people who finished their JobBridge internships received jobs with the companies that provided the internships. This is not a scheme that is seriously addressing the crisis of youth unemployment. We are calling for an immediate investigation and review of this scheme, with proper monitoring being introduced.
Many of the companies involved clearly need people to do work, but are unwilling to pay for it. Instead of creating a real job, they prefer to use JobBridge to get free workers. In this way, it is clear that rather than acting as part of the solution to mass unemployment, JobBridge is actually part of the problem. We need a RealJobs scheme to get people back to work, a nationwide programme of necessary public works to slash unemployment for example.
Some of the ‘ScamBridge stories’ featured on the site:
“A few months back I was looking for in internship in IT via Jobbridge, and one of the interviews I attended was for a position at the Mater Hospital. During the course of the interview I mentioned that I thought it was great such a scheme like Jobbridge existed to provide people with their first step in the industry of their choice. I was swiftly informed by one of my interviewers that they were in fact looking for an experienced person to fill the position. After that statement the interview was effectively over, and I was left with my first realisation of what the Jobbridge scheme was actually about.
Mark (not his real name):
“The firm I was working with had more people working for free than they were paying outside of the directors positions. Beneath the 5 directors there were 2 paid Civil Engineers, 1 paid technician and 1 paid Quantity Surveyor. At one point, including myself, the company had 7 people working for free; 4 people on the Jobsbridge internship, 2 people on unpaid college placement and one person who had did not qualify for the Jobsbridge scheme and just worked for nothing to gain some experience. At the end of my 9 month internship I was not offered a job. (Despite the company being extremely busy and profitable), but asked to go on another 9 month internship at the end of which I would have a good chance of a job. The reason I was given for this was ‘why would we pay you now when we can get another internee in to replace you for free for another 9 months.’ I understand each company is only allowed 2 internees (open to correction) but this was easily solved through the use of various company names registered to the same owners. I have just booked flights for Australia and am emigrating next month due to my inability to secure a job in the Engineering sector.”