Three in five JobBridge interns secure employment

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​Independent evaluation demonstrates internship scheme among the most successful in Europe

Three in five participants in JobBridge – the national internship scheme - secure employment following their internship, according to an independent evaluation published today (May 1st) by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.
The evaluation, conducted by Indecon Economic Consultants, shows that 61% of interns progress to paid employment after completing their internship.
The 61% progression rate for JobBridge is among the best in Europe, where progression rates for similar internship schemes average just 34% . (see note 1)
The evaluation report also found that:
  • 96% of host organisations would recommend JobBridge to another employer
  • 89% of interns stated that JobBridge had given them new skills
  • Interns found that they also benefitted from:
    • an increase in their self-confidence
    • the opportunity to gain quality work experience
    • the opportunity to establish a network of contacts
The Taoiseach and Minister Burton jointly launched the report at the offices of LinkedIn in Dublin. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 200 million members, is among the companies which have benefitted from JobBridge, hosting interns who later progressed to full-time employment with the company.
Welcoming the findings of the report, the Taoiseach said: "The Government has an ambitious plan to modernise and improve our work activation services as part of our Pathways to Work strategy. JobBridge was a key early scheme to help deliver on this agenda. It is now clear that JobBridge is delivering for thousands of jobseekers by providing them with valuable opportunities to gain relevant work experience, knowledge and skills in a workplace environment. The fact that three in five interns gain employment following the scheme is a testament to the potential that exists in providing new work activation services to jobseekers and employers."
Over two-thirds of interns who have participated in JobBridge were over six months on the Live Register prior to taking up an internship. 
Minister Burton said: "JobBridge has proven to provide a very effective pathway back to work, with an overall progression rate of 61% into employment. Since I launched the scheme in 2011, more than 16,700 people have participated in it – and the independent evaluation proves its immense value. The scheme is making a real difference to the lives of jobseekers, including those who are experiencing long-term unemployment." 
Alan Gray of Indecon Economic Consultants said: "Our independent evaluation of the JobBridge programme suggests it has positive outcomes in terms of employment progression. The research indicates that it is an effective labour market intervention that compares more than favourably with other labour market programmes."
Also speaking at the launch was former JobBridge participant Shane Ashmore, who following an internship with LinkedIn has secured a full-time position as an Enterprise Accounts Analyst with the organisation.
Chair of the JobBridge National Steering Committee and Managing Director of HP Ireland, Martin Murphy, said:  "We are very optimistic that a greater number of companies can benefit from JobBridge. I would urge participation from across the business community as companies can play a vital role in upskilling our workforce while also gaining access to a pool of talented individuals, many of whom go on to paid employment in their organisations."
Minister Burton concluded: "The evidence shows that the majority of employers and interns gain significantly from JobBridge. I would encourage employers and jobseekers who have not yet considered availing of JobBridge to do so, and see the huge benefits it could bring them."
Attendees at today’s event included a cross-section of employers who have benefitted from JobBridge, including the GAA, Tour America, Accenture and Optimum Results.
The Government emphasised the importance of JobBridge in Budget 2013, increasing the number of places by 42% from 6,000 to 8,500. JobBridge is one of a number of schemes overseen by the Department of Social Protection which offers work, training and educational places. More than €1 billion will be spent on these schemes and related supports this year, providing 85,000 places in total.
As part of its management of JobBridge, the Department conducts monitoring visits of host organisations to ensure they are offering their intern the work experience, training and mentoring required by the scheme. To date, over 1,700 monitoring visits have been completed, and 97% of these visits were of a satisfactory nature. Remedial action is taken in cases of non-compliance. A total of 15 companies have been prohibited from future involvement with JobBridge for failing to comply with the scheme’s requirements.
While the report highlights the potential long-term economic and social value of JobBridge – through helping people back to work and reducing the Live Register – it also points to issues for further consideration. The report suggests there is a need to encourage greater participation in JobBridge among non-graduates and that enhanced support mechanisms be provided to participants to reduce non-completion of internships and to assist those who are dissatisfied with their placements. These and all other recommendations of the report will now be considered in full by the Minister and the National Steering Committee.
The full report is available from the Department of Social Protection website at


Notes to Editors:

Additional Information:
  1. JobBridge was officially launched on 29th June 2011 to provide a pathway to work for jobseekers.
  2. There has been a very high level of interest in JobBridge both amongst interns and host organisations. As at 25th April 2013, 16,791 individuals have participated, with 6,030 participants currently on a placement and 2,443 internship opportunities currently advertised. 
  3. The majority of internships, 66%, were undertaken in the private sector, with 22% in the public sector and the balance in the community and voluntary sectors.
  4. 29% of internships are undertaken by those under the age of 25; 45% of places are taken up by those aged between 25 and 34; 26% of placements are taken up by those over the age of 35.
  5. At the time of the survey, over half (52%) of interns who completed their internship were in paid employment. Employment rates rose to 61.4% for interns who had completed the scheme over five months previously.
  6. Progression rates in respect of people who were previously long term unemployed are particularly encouraging. The report suggests a progression rate among people who were more than two years unemployed of 38%. The general progression rate for people on the Live Register for more than two years is under 10%.
  7. The survey across Europe which finds that 34% of all respondents turned their internship into jobs with either their host or another employer was undertaken by the European Youth Forum in 2011.  The progression outcomes into employment from JobBridge compare very favourably with other European countries.
  8. There has been a positive regional spread in terms of take up of the scheme as follows:

Table 1 – Regional Breakdown of Internships

% of Total
Midlands Region
North West/
North East Region
North East
North West
South West/
South East Region
South East
South West
Starts to date
(01/07/2011 to 25/04/2013)


Study Methodology:
Indecon based its findings on:
  1. The results of primary research conducted directly with employers and interns. Questionnaires were distributed to 4,401 interns and to 3,021 host organisations. There was a 54% response rate to surveys amongst interns.  The response rate from host organisations was 50%.  An exceptionally high level of response was achieved on both streams. Indecon would normally expect a response rate of 15 to 20% for such surveys.
  2. An analysis of data held on Department of Social Protection information systems.
Note 1: Interns Revealed – A survey on internship quality across Europe – European Youth Forum 2011
Last modified:01/05/2013