JobBridge Interns - Frequently Asked questions


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1. Am I eligible?

In order to be eligible to participate in JobBridge – the National Internship Scheme an individual must be:

  • Currently be in receipt of a live claim (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/Jobseeker Transition Payment/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance/Blind Persons Pension/Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s contributory/non-contributory Pension/Deserted Wives Benefit/Deserted Wives Allowance/Signing for Credits)
  • And have been in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/Jobseeker Transition Payment/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance/Blind Persons Pension/Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s contributory/non-contributory Pension/Deserted Wives Benefit/Deserted Wives Allowance  or signing for Social Insurance Contribution Credits for a total of 3 months (78 days) or more in the last 6 months.

Periods spent on Back to Education Allowance, VTOS, FÁS/SOLAS and Fáilte Ireland Training courses, Youthreach, FIT, Community Employment Schemes, TUS, Gateway, the Rural Social Scheme, Back to Work Scheme, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Momentum Courses, Job Initiative or Job Assist will count towards meeting the eligibility of JobBridge, provided:

  • The individual has completed these programmes
  • Has a live claim
  • Is in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/Jobseeker Transition Payment/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance/Blind Persons Pension/Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s contributory/non-contributory Pension/Deserted Wives Benefit/Deserted Wives Allowance  or signing for Social Insurance Contribution Credits immediately before commencing on JobBridge.

Commencement on the internship is dependant on DEASP confirming the individual’s eligibility

An eligible individual can partake on a JobBridge internship from 18 years up to the age of 65 years and their internship must finish the Friday before the individuals 66th birthday.

JobBridge and Momentum courses

An individual must have completed a Momentum course in full, this includes the 6 month post-training job search period, before they can apply for a JobBridge internship.  The 6 month job search period does not apply to participants under the age of 25 years who wish to apply for JobBridge.

2. How do I know if I can retain my social welfare allowance

If you have a qualifying claim (see below) and have been for 3 months (78 days) or more in the last 6 months and currently in receipt of any of the following payments:

  • Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Job Seeker’s Benefit
  • Jobseeker Transition Payment
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Disability Allowance
  • Signing for Social Insurance Contribution Credits
  • Blind Persons Pension
  • Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s contributory/non-contributory Pension
  • Deserted Wives Benefit/Deserted Wives Allowance

You will retain your current social welfare allowance plus an additional €52.50 per week top-up which will be paid by the Department Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). This top-up will be paid for the duration of the internship.

An individual’s entitlements or stamps are unable to run out during an internship. They are effectively frozen for the period spent on the National Internship Scheme and will resume immediately upon completion subject to their circumstances not changing.

3. Can casual claimants on the Live Register participate on JobBridge?

While on an internship interns can commence casual employment without affecting their entitlements provided that it is not with the host organisation (i.e. not with the same employer) and it does not interfere with their internship. Interns must notify their Local Social Welfare Office or Intreo Centre of any changes in circumstances.

4. Can I apply for an internship with an organisation that I have previously completed a WPP/TUS/CE with?

No, an individual cannot apply for an internship with an organisation that they have previously completed a WPP/TUS/CE with.

5. Can I apply for an internship with an organisation that I have an existing or prior employment relationship e.g. working part-time?

No, an individual cannot apply for an internship with an organisation that they have an existing or prior employment relationship with.

6. Will I get paid?

You will receive an internship allowance that is equal to your current social welfare allowance (at time of commencement on the Scheme) plus an additional €52.50 per week top-up which will be paid by the Department Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). All changes in circumstances must be notified to your local Social Welfare office as this may affect your social welfare payment.

This top-up will be paid for the duration of the internship but in arrears and it is expected that participants will receive this top-up allowance approximately 2 weeks after commencing on the programme.

All payments of the Internship Allowance should be made via Electronic Fund Transfer into the Intern’s bank account, where possible.

7. Will I get any top up contributions from the Host Organisation?

There is no employer top up contribution.  However, there is nothing to prevent a Host Organisation reimbursing an Intern for expenses incurred as part of the internship.

8. Where do I go to find an internship?

The internships will be advertised at www.jobsireland.ie  and in Intreo Centres.  Host Organisations can advertise their placements once they meet eligibility criteria and have been approved.  Alternatively, if you wish to acquire an internship within a specific organisation you can approach them yourself informing them of the National Internship Scheme (NIS) and direct them to the website to apply as a Host Organisation

9. I’m under 25, am I entitled to the SW higher rate?

No, Individuals will be entitled to their current base rate of social welfare plus the weekly top-up of €52.50.

10. How long can I participate on an internship for?

A participant can avail of a placement on an internship work experience opportunity delivered under the National Internship Scheme (NIS) for a 6 month (26 weeks) period or a 9 month (39 weeks) period.  It will be the Host Organisations who will advertise for either a 6 month or a 9 month placement.

Individuals may avail of a maximum of 3 JobBridge internships, however, the total cumulative time spent on the Scheme cannot exceed 18 months (78 weeks).  An Intern will not be permitted to do more than one internship with the same Host Organisation. The maximum duration of an individual internship is 9 months (39 weeks).

11. How many hours do I have to work?

A standard internship working week will range from 30-40 hours per week. Therefore an Intern will be required to participate on the Scheme for a minimum of 30 hours and a maximum of 40 hours per week. 

12. What if I start an internship and I realise this placement is not for me, can I do another?

One week’s written notice must be given by either party.  The Host Organisation must log-on to their JobBridge account and enter the early completion (Actual Finish Date) immediately after early completion date. You must let your local office know that you have finished on the scheme.

Individuals may avail of a maximum of 3 JobBridge internships, however, the total cumulative time spent on the Scheme cannot exceed 18 months (78 weeks).  An Intern will not be permitted to do more than one internship with the same Host Organisation. The maximum duration of an individual internship is 9 months (39 weeks).

13. How do I apply for internship placement?

Go to www.jobsireland.ie to search for internships that are on offer. And, if interested apply directly to the Host Organisation by the method they specify in their advertisement or directly from your Jobseeker profile. To create a Jobseeker profile, please go to www.jobsireland.ie


Jobseeker Help & Support Videos can be accessed via the following link:  https://www.jobsireland.ie/#/training-video-jobseeker

14. How will I be selected?

Each Host Organisation will decide how they select the person for the placement.
For example they may ask you to forward a CV and call you for an interview. When you make contact with the Host Organisation about the placement they will tell you more about their selection process.


If selected and offered the internship, your eligibility will be checked by your local social welfare office. Once eligibility is confirmed, the Social Welfare office will send a message to the host organisation and to the individual.


Commencement on the internship is dependant on DEASP confirming the individual’s eligibility.

15. Should I inform DEASP that I have started an Internship?

Yes, individuals must notify their local Social Welfare Office when there is any change in their status/circumstances.  Commencing an internship is a change in your circumstance. 

16. What will I be doing on my placement?

When a Host Organisation selects a potential Intern, they complete a Standard Agreement to include details of the skills, experience you will have the opportunity to learn and/or apply during the internship.  The Host Organisation will give you a copy of the Standard Agreement that will be signed by both you and the Host Organisation. 

17. Who will look after me during my placement?

The Host Organisation will nominate an individual to support and/or mentor you during your placement. This person must have expertise/experience in performing the duties expected of you and they will have responsibility to ensure that you receive a proper induction, ensure that your work experience as described in the standard agreement is progressing and that monthly compliance checks are being completed (to ensure your internship allowance continues to be paid by DEASP). If an organisation has a formal mentoring programme, they should include you in this programme.

18. Will my placement be checked?

Yes, there will be a monthly compliance check that the Host Organisation will return each month.  The purpose is to confirm your attendance and that the work experience described in the Standard Agreement is progressing.  This return must be made each month in order to ensure the payment of your internship allowance. A case officer will also call to the organisation to carry out a monitoring visit during your internship.

19. Can I participate on education and training courses while on the internship?

Interns on JobBridge may engage in education and training provided by the Host Organisation or part time education and training courses, irrespective of length and which are paid for by the State provided that it does not have an adverse impact on the internship. 

Interns on JobBridge are not eligible to access:

  • full time education or full time training courses paid for by the State,
  • other Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection initiatives such as the Back to Education Allowance and the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.

 

20. Can I access Technical Employment Support Grant (TESG)?

JobBridge participants are eligible to be considered for TESG. Please discuss this option with an Employment Services Officer or LES Mediator at your local Employment Services/LES office.

21. Am I eligible for a FÁS/SOLAS Course Fee Waiver?

JobBridge participants are eligible to be considered for the fee waiver.  Please discuss this option with an Employment Services Officer or LES Mediator at your local Employment Services/LES office.

22. Will I receive a reference at the end of the Internship?

Yes, when the placement is finished the Host Organisation must supply you with a reference that will detail the professional development/learning outcomes and experience you have acquired over the course of the placement.

Do I get time off during an Internship?

Although you are not an employee of the company you should still be given adequate time off for attending job interviews during the placement to visit your local Social Welfare Office and Employment Services Office in order to facilitate your job seeking activities.

You are entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours in every 24 hour period.

You are entitled to at least one rest break during working time each day.  You should not be required to work additional time to make up time spent on rest breaks. You are entitled to a break of at least 15 minutes after a 4 ½ hour work period.  If you work more than 6 hours at a time you are entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes, which can include the first 15-minute break.  Breaks at the end of the working day do not satisfy these requirements. 

You are entitled to a minimum weekly rest period of 24 uninterrupted hours.

In cases where you may be engaged in evening work, you must not be required to perform heavy or dangerous work for longer than 8 hours in any 24 hour period.

24. Am I entitled to any leave during my time on the placement?

Yes, you are entitled to the following leave:

  • Annual Leave Interns will be entitled to all Public Holidays and 1.75 days annual leave for each month that they participate on the National Internship Scheme.
  • Maternity Leave – Interns are entitled to suspend a JobBridge placement early due to maternity leave. Host Organisations will enter a finish date when you commence your maternity leave. Eligibility needs to be confirmed before recommencing on your Internship. The top up payment will cease whilst on maternity leave.
  • Sick Leave – The maximum cumulative sick leave permissible over the course of an internship is 2 weeks (10 working days). Where an Intern has exceeded this limit, the Host Organisation shall terminate the internship immediately.

25. What if the Internship is not working out as I expected?

Workplace issues should be resolved with the Host Organisation.

If the internship is not working out as expected you should discuss this with the person that is supervising/mentoring your internship.  If this does not resolve the issue you can contact us by sending an email to jobbridge@welfare.ie providing the following:  Your name, contact details, the Host Organisation name, internship title and brief outline of the issue.

An internship can finish early with one week’s written notice on either side.  In this event, the Host Organisation must log on and notify JobBridge immediately of the new completion date. The Intern must notify their local Social Welfare Office immediately.

26. What if I get a job?

If you get paid work that is great!  If you get a job during the placement you are under no obligation to stay, again you should give the Host Organisation one week’s written notice that you are leaving. You also must notify your local Social Welfare Office or Intreo Centre.

27. Can Adult Dependents avail of an Internship?

Qualified Adults cannot participate in JobBridge nor can they use a spousal swap to become eligible.  The only way for them to qualify is to get a Jobseekers claim in their own name; however the standard 78 days must expire before they will become eligible for the Scheme.

28. When I finish an Internship, can I apply for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance?

Yes, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. See www.welfare.ie

Is there any reduced rate childcare if I take up this Scheme?

Interns can avail of the Early Child Care and Education (ECCE) programme, and the After School Child Care (ASCC) Programme, also the Host Organisation may have childcare facilities of which you can avail.

30. Can I participate on Springboard, JobBridge Scheme or Back to Education allowance and simultaneously participate on Community Employment (CE)?

No, and time spent on JobBridge, Springboard and Back to Education Allowance do not count towards the qualifying period for eligibility to CE

31. If I am on JobBridge, Springboard or receiving the Back to Education allowance can I avail of spousal swap option for CE (to allow my spouse on CE)?

No.  Persons engaged on Springboard, JobBridge or receiving Back to Education allowance may not avail of spousal swap option for CE (to allow their spouse on CE) for the duration of their own programme.

32. Can an individual progress onto a JobBridge Internship from Community Employment (CE)?

Yes, subject to completing their CE Scheme in full and all other eligibility criteria met.  An individual cannot apply for an internship with an organisation that they have previously completed a CE Scheme with.  However, moving from JobBridge to CE is not viewed as an appropriate progression route by the Department.

33. Does an individual receive credits whilst partaking on JobBridge?

Yes.  An individual who was receiving credits on their JA/JB claim prior to JobBridge will continue to receive their credits for the duration of their internship.

34. Who is responsible for providing the Intern with appropriate clothing & equipment during the course of their internship?

It is the responsibility for the Host Organisation to provide an Intern with appropriate clothing and equipment as required during the course of their internship.

35. Can I undertake my JobBridge Internship from home?

No, an individual cannot undertake their JobBridge Internship from home.

36. Can I stop my internship to take up full time employment and return to my internship?

An intern can take up full time employment, however, the internship must end and the intern cannot recommence the internship with the same Host Organisation.

Last modified:09/09/2016
 

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