Closure of JobBridge Scheme
On Tuesday 18th October, the Minister for Social Protection, Mr Leo Varadkar, TD announced the closure of the JobBridge Scheme following a recent external evaluation of the scheme and advice received from the Labour Market Council. The Minister has decided to replace JobBridge with a more targeted work experience programme in 2017.
In order to facilitate the orderly wind-up of the scheme, no new advertisements for JobBridge internship positions are being accepted, although candidates will have until midnight on Friday, 21st October 2016 to apply for positions that have already been advertised. All existing JobBridge advertisements will be then removed from www.jobsireland.ie.
Candidates who have already applied for advertised JobBridge positions will have until Friday 25th November 2016 to go through the recruitment process and start the internship. It should be noted that this is the latest date for the commencement of an internship, and no applicants will be allowed to start after this date.
Once a JobBridge internship commences however, it will be allowed to run for its duration.
the National Internship Scheme, provides work experience opportunities for
unemployed people. It is aimed at people who have been either getting certain
social welfare payments or signing for credits for at least 3 months.
Participants in the scheme will be offered an internship of 6 or 9 months with
a host organisation. If they take up an internship they will keep their social
welfare payment and will get an extra €50 per week.
First Steps – Youth Developmental Internship
Steps – Youth Developmental Internship is currently being put in place.
It will be aimed at young people aged between 18 and 24 who have little or no
experience of work. First Steps is similar to JobBridge but internships will
not be publicly advertised – see ‘First Steps’ below.
How do I qualify for the scheme?
To be eligible for the JobBridge scheme you must be unemployed and:
- You must be getting one of the above qualifying payments or signing on
for credits for a total of 3 months (78 days)* or more in the last 6
*Periods spent on the Back
to Education Allowance, VTOS,
training courses, Youthreach,
courses, Community Employment
Schemes, Tús, the Rural
Social Scheme, Back
to Work Enterprise Allowance, Job
Initiative or Job Assist may count
towards meeting the eligibility criteria for JobBridge, provided:
- You have completed these programmes
- You have signed back onto the Live Register
- You are getting one of the qualifying payments or signing for credits
immediately before starting on JobBridge
You cannot start the internship until your eligibility for JobBridge is
confirmed by the Department of Social Protection.
Internships may be offered in a wide range of employment sectors and
occupations in public, private and community and voluntary organisations.
How long does the internship last?
Under the National Internship Scheme you can work as an intern in a host
organisation for 6 months or for 9 months. You will work at least 30 and no
more than 40 hours a week. If you find the placement does not work out, you can
change to another internship. You may have a maximum of 3 internships and the
total time you can spend on JobBridge is 18 months (78 weeks). However the
maximum duration of a single internship is 9 months (39 weeks).
Completion of internship
If you or your host organisation wants to terminate the internship early, a
week’s written notice must be given by either party.
When your internship is terminated early or completed (after 6 or 9 months),
your host organisation must notify
JobBridge (pdf) immediately and you must notify your local social welfare
office or Intreo centre.
Am I entitled to leave while working as an intern?
You are entitled to public holidays and 1.75 days of annual leave per month
during the internship. If you are absent from work due to illness, provided you
meet the requirements of your company's sick leave policy, you will continue to
get your social welfare payment. The maximum cumulative sick leave allowed is
10 working days. If you exceed this your internship will be terminated
If you become pregnant, you can suspend your internship to take maternity
leave. When you return to complete your internship, you must confirm your
eligibility for it – see 'How to apply below. You will not get the top up
payment while you are on maternity leave.
Childcare: You may be eligible for the After-School
Child Care Scheme.
Can I do additional part-time work outside my JobBridge hours?
While you are participating in JobBridge, you may do additional part-time
work provided your work does not affect your internship and your employer is
not your host organisation. If you get a part-time job you must continue to
meet the conditions for your payment. Your income from work will not affect
your payment but you should notify your local social welfare office or Intreo
Centre of any changes in your circumstances.
You can read more details in this list of frequently
asked questions for interns.
Organisations participating in the scheme are known as host organisations.
They can be from the public or private sectors or from the community and
voluntary sector. The host organisation (HO) must have at least one full-time
employee working 30 hours a week or more. The internship must not displace an
existing employee and the HO must have no vacancies in the area of activity
where the internship is offered.
Sole traders who have at least one full-time employee are eligible to be
host organisations. If the owner of a limited company is an employee of that
company who works at least 30 hours a week, paying tax and PRSI as an employee
of the same company, then the company may be eligible to be a host
A host organisation must be a legal entity and must be compliant with health
and safety and other legal requirements.
If Garda vetting is required the HO must ensure that this is carried out.
The HO’s public liability insurance, and motor insurance if applicable, will
cover any internships on the scheme.
Number of internships in a host organisation
The number of internships that a host organisation can offer depends on
their number of full-time employees, as follows:
|Number of full-time employees (30+ hours
||Number of internship places
||1 internship place
||3 internship places
||4 internship places
|Over 30 employees
||20% of the workforce up to a maximum of 200 whichever is the
If a HO has WPP placements as well, there are limits on the combined number
of interns and WPP participants. You can read more details in this list of frequently
asked questions for host organisations.
Since 1 July 2013, a host organisation may employ an intern under the JobsPlus Incentive directly from JobBridge. The intern must have been getting a
qualifying payment prior to their internship and they must satisfy the required
qualifying period and conditions.
First Steps – Youth Development Internship is aimed at unemployed young
people aged from 18-24 who may have lower levels of education, be long-term
unemployed or face other barriers to entering employment. First Steps is
similar to JobBridge but internships will not be publicly advertised.
Department of Social Protection staff will select suitable candidates and refer
them for interviews with organisations that have offered internships. The
organisation then selects their preferred candidate.
Internships will be for 3 months (13 weeks) in duration with an option to extend this to a 6 month (26 weeks) or a 9 month (39 weeks) placement. The scheme will offer extensive support including a work preparation course and a shorter internship week of 4 days.
You will get an allowance equivalent to your current social welfare payment
and you will get an internship allowance of €52.50 per week. You will also keep
any secondary benefits that you have when you take up an internship. If you are
signing for credits you will get €52.50 per week. No top-up payments from the
host organisation are permitted, but interns may be reimbursed for expenses
incurred during the internship.
If you have dependent children you will be paid the full Increase
for a Qualified Child (IQC) if you qualify for an Increase
for a Qualified Adult (IQA) or if you are parenting alone. If you do not
qualify for an IQA, you may receive a half-rate IQC.
If there is any change in your circumstances, you should inform your local
social welfare office or Intreo centre as this may affect your social welfare
Social welfare payment: When you are an intern, the time
you are getting an internship allowance is disregarded when calculating how
long you continue to be entitled to your jobseeker’s payment. This means
that, when you finish the internship, you can resume your social welfare claim
from the point at which you left. For example, if you were getting Jobseeker's
Benefit and you had 90 days left on your claim when you started an internship,
you will still have 90 days of entitlement left if you resume your claim when
you have completed the internship.