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The Job bridge / FAS scandal - Free labour schemes

category national | anti-capitalism | feature author Wednesday July 10, 2013 22:19author by dave Report this post to the editors

Converting paid work into unpaid work..

featured image

It seems like everytime I view the Fas website more and more real jobs are dissapearing from it and being replaced with free labour internships. When I search for specific sectors now all I seem to find are internships. This scheme is absolutely sickening me as it has potentially destroyed several thousand entry level jobs. I can't believe that Joan Burton and the labour party have completely ruined the youth labour market with a scheme which is:

-replacing real paid jobs with "internships"
-exploiting the jobless
-wasting tax-payer money to provide companies with free labour
-putting underqualified/inexperienced/unvetted people in jobs with far too much responsibility(working with kids etc...)
-distorting our unemployment figures
-putting existing paid jobs at risk
-being used to makeup for a shortfall of skills in the public service due to the recruitment embargo

Here is an example of a paid job that is now nullified and advertised as a job bridge job..

There are curretnly 5543 people on internships - that is probably the good guts of 5543 jobs being taken up by free labour schemes, converting paid work into unpaid work..

Have a look at the job bridge website also it is :http://intern.jobbridge.ie/

Telesales Representative
Based in CARLOW TOWN
Ref. INTE-774032

Description
The intern will gain practical experience in selling a range of IT products and services - telesales, sales, marketing. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following arranging sales meetings for the Sales team from a list of targeted customers. On completion the intern will have attained skills in working as part of a team; communication skills and telephone skills.

Skills Requirements
The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills (especially over the phone), be eager to learn, able to work on their own initiative and be well presented.

Please Note:
This is an Internship. An allowance of €50 per week will be paid in addition to your current Social Welfare payment.See eligibility criteria above.

Department
Sales

Mentor
The Organisation will assign a mentor to support you during the Internship.

Duration
6 Months

Days, Hours & Start Date
Days per week: To be Advised
Hours per day: Not specified
Hours per week: 35
Start Date: TBC

author by andrewpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:36Report this post to the editors

http://www.scambridge.ie/how-the-jobbridge-scam-works/

for more on how the free labour scheme scam works,please read above..

i have found a lot of interesting stories on this..

joan burton should be ashamed of herself ,she is facilitating job robbers,its a useless money eating quango that needs to be shut down to free up the jobs market.

author by andrewpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:46Report this post to the editors

An interesting read i have come across,here is an example of one poor unfortunate worker being pushed out of her job for it to be replaced by free labour(off the scambridge.ie site):

Aoife: One day he asked me to look up Job Bridge, I’d never heard of it…..

Posted by Paul Murphy on May 13, 2013 in ScamBridge Stories | 4 comments

''I worked for the same employer for six years part time (2 -3 days per week in an office environment.)

One day he asked me to look up Job Bridge, I’d never heard of it. He claimed he would be able to get skilled welders and manual workers for FREE. Having looked the scheme up for him, I told him that he would not qualify for the scheme as he didn’t have any full time workers (He needed at least one full time employee (over 30 hours per week) to qualify for the scheme.)

When I told him this he simply said ”I’ll put myself down as a full time employee” Over the next three weeks in the job, he was making my working life more and more difficult. He suddenly announced that he needed me to come in for two hours every day instead of for the couple of days I was doing, absolutely undo-able for me as I have a small child and the petrol and childcare would add up to much more than what I’d be earning. He also announced that he needed someone with ”marketing skills and transport organisational skills”

Later that day, I found a print out that he had mistakenly left on the printer of a job bridge vacancy (for a different company) that described exactly what he said he suddenly wanted my job to be. It was like he memorised the document and thought ”hey, I can get someone in here to do her job for free, but in order to do so, I have to push her out first”! I walked out that very day as I’d had enough of his underhandedness, he was using every excuse in the previous weeks to get at me. Blaming me when his VAT return was high (He’d done major sales in that accounting period) and deliberately leaving to ask me to do stuff at the last minute when he knew I was rushing to collect my child from the creche.

Up until the Jobbridge thing reared its ugly head, he was an ok boss, we’d had our differences on a few things, but generally we worked well together for six years with no major problems. This Job bridge is a farce, employers are looking at this as a free meal ticket and have absolutely no loyalty or regard for employees who have been there through thick and thin with them. When faced with the tempting prospect of a free slave for either six or nine months, all loyalty goes out the window. I copied the job bridge document and left it on his desk so he would know I had seen it, He didn’t contact me the next week and when he did, it was to say he needed ”something done urgently and basically if I didn’t do it, then he was presuming my employment was terminated”

I challenged him, by e-mail about the job bridge scam and he tried to deny that’s what he was doing, I told him again that he would not qualify as he had no full time employees (He has since found out to his cost that he did not qualify as he has a relative in trying to do the job)! I’m sure this is costing him a hell of a lot more than he was paying me so bully for him! This scheme is a complete farce, it’s turning employers into bullies forcing decent people out of jobs that they’ve been in for years because the employer sees a nice golden carrot being dangled in front of them.''

Thankfully, I have managed to pick up some work as people who knew me knew I was a hard worker and I had good recommendations. I do feel that in the long run, my previous boss’s greed has done him no favours whatsoever.

author by Tpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 14:58Report this post to the editors

The only purpose of Job Bridge is to provide welfare for businesses and at the same time reduce it for ordinary people.

It will become difficult for the government to stop Job Bridge because now all the companies using it are saving quite a lot of money and will undoubtly push hard to retain it.

In a way it is a form of fascism -that is if we accept the definition by Mussolini that it is the merger of corporate and state power. And clearly in this case the state is directly feeding labour into the business sectors even while the state pays these people in the form of low social welfare payments. It serves to undermine the wages of all other workers in every category that Job Bridge serves. The effect of Job Bridge is also to join businesses and the State at the hip because as time progresses and more and more businesses have Job Bridge people, then they will have an unfair advantage and all other firms in the same sector will be forced to do the same. Its a bit like out-sourcing to China, except in this case it is out-sourcing to a pool of captive very very low-cost labour and the government / state is the enabler of this. Thus we see the state has a direct role in suppressing the rights of workers and in maintaining the environment that ensures their extremely low pay and status remains that way because of the way they have distorted the labour market.

It is interesting that the likes of IBEC and all the right-wing hacks drone on and on about the free market and how it is important not to interfere with it when Job Bridge is exactly that; gross interference. Although we know they don't actually believe this ideological crap that they spout because it is only used for their own ends and to defeat social gains by the masses. As soon as they find it not useful they drop it in an instant.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 16:17Report this post to the editors

Worth reading article in Forbes magazine. 14th June 2013. 'Is the Unpaid Internship Dead?'

There are 6 legal requirements for unpaid internships.....it is worth reading.

author by seamuspublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 16:49Report this post to the editors

I take your point on this forbes article these are legal requirements for american internships,i have to say it took courage for those who did file lawsuits,as some of them didn't want to be seen as trouble makers,and lose out on a reference etc.

12 dollars an hour for what could be a full time paid job is just unacceptable,as is 50 Euros a week for what could be a full time paid job is also obscene.

The irish internship system - or free job scam scheme , has very little legal framework outlining what is acceptable and what is clearly unacceptable,although they do have rules and regulations - these are not enforced,if you read the story of aoife above, you will see her story is testament to that.Of course there are many more horror stories out there

I was part of one of those horror stories,i worked on a CE fas scheme in Co.Clare,there was abuse of the CE staff by our supervisor and company manager - we were often asked to go outside our job spec and work longer hours than we should have had to.

There was also a culture of bullying there in the office,and two full time staff(who didnt get on with us) lost their jobs - so we were basically taken on to fill their role,it only became apparent that was the case when the two staff got their hours cut - and eventually pushed out the door.

That was when we were asked to do extra tasks outside our role,and were told in no uncertain terms we would be terminated indefinately after we were given written and verbal warnings if we did not complete these tasks and work long after we were supposed to.

In the end i complained to the manager about our treatment along with other ce workers,and applied for a transfer to another ce scheme where hopefully there would be less bullying and extra demands - i was wrong. I got abuse on the other ce scheme aswell.

The whole scheme is a racket,it encourages a hostile enviornment for workers to be basically treated like garbage.

The whole point of the job bridge and fas ''job'' schemes is to massage dole statistics to make the FG/LAB government look like they are attracting paid work,when in fact they are robbing what could be a paid job out of the community,often affecting the most vunerable of people.

Its just not acceptable we have a free labour slave scheme in the 21st century.

author by andrewpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 17:00Report this post to the editors

People before profit TD Richie boyd barret challenged Joan burton on the free labour scam.

This can be found on the richardboydbarrett.ie website.

See details below of another scandal where people lost their jobs,and free workers were taken on:

'During Minister’s Questions today, People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, challenged Minister for Social Protection, that the JobBridge Scheme is being abused by private companies.

In February, Oxygen, who run the recycling plant in Ballyogan on behalf of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council took on a number of staff via the JobBridge scheme. These staff were trained by workers who then lost their jobs.

JobBridge is the government’s National Internship Scheme that is intended to provide work experience for those on Social Welfare payments as a way to get people back to work.

The intern receives €50 from the state on top of their SW payment and the “host company” is obliged to train and upskill the intern but is not liable to pay any money to the intern.

The rules for Job Bridge state clearly that:

The host organisation currently may not have vacancies in the area of activity in which the internship is offered.
The internship will not be provided to displace an employee. The scheme administrator reserves the right to review cases where it is reported that this is the case.

On 31 March 4 workers lost their jobs at Ballyogan Depot. These workers were employed by A&S Finnegan, a sub-contractor for Oxygen.

These workers had spent the previous weeks training a number of Job Bridge “interns”. Three of these interns are now doing the jobs of these previously employed workers.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, said: “It is an absolute scandal if it is the case that JobBridge scheme is being used by employers to displace other workers. When this scheme was announced, we raised the possibility that it was open to this kind of abuse and this story begs the question about how widespread this is.”

“What makes this story even worse is that Ballyogan Depot is owned by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. Oxygen have the contract to run this. It is utterly unacceptable that state contracts are being given to companies that are abusing a Social Protection scheme.

There is widespread anecdotal evidence that this abuse of JobBridge scheme is not an isolated incident. These companies should certainly be debarred from public contracts and it is possible that even criminal proceedings should be taken. There are also very serious questions to be asked of the government about their failure to prevent this kind of abuse and put in place proper monitoring of the scheme and severe penalties where abuses are taking place.”

Richard Lynch added: “I had been working in the office in Ballyogan since Christmas and now one of these JobBridge interns is doing my job. This costs the state an extra €50 per week!

I reported it to the department of Social Protection on 21st of March. Apparently they are still looking into it! How long does it take to see that the scheme is just being abused!

Brian Halpin said: “I was working in Ballyogan for 1 year and 11 months and I was only told on Wed 27 March that I would no longer be needed on Monday 1 April. Now there is an intern doing my job. This intern is being paid from Dept of Social Protection and I had to sign on too costing the state an extra €238 every week while Oxygen are laughing all the way to the bank.”

author by JoeMcpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 22:46Report this post to the editors

“the scheme is just being abused”
“JobBridge Scheme is being abused by private companies.”
“this abuse of JobBridge scheme is not an isolated incident.”
“companies that are abusing a Social Protection scheme”
“failure to prevent this kind of abuse”
“penalties where abuses are taking place.”

RBB covers up the real nature of Jobsbridge when he describes what happens to people like Aoife as “abuse” of a “social protection scheme “ - as if JobBridge had been put in place to protect workers and not turn them into slaves .

Parroting the government’s pitch for the slave scheme, the article describes JobBridge as “the government’s National Internship Scheme that is intended to provide work experience for those on Social Welfare payments as a way to get people back to work.” In other words RBB thinks that Jobsbridge is a good scheme aimed at social protection – but “scandalously” it is being abused by unscrupulous employers because of a lack of “proper monitoring” .

author by Joe Mcpublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 22:58Report this post to the editors

RBB doesn't say who he thinks should be doing the monitoring of these schemes . I wouldn't be one bit surprised to find that Dickie was keeping full-timers from Ireland's wonderful trade union movement in mind for the jobs .

author by ciarapublication date Tue Jul 09, 2013 23:01Report this post to the editors

I agree with joe the true nature of job bridge is that it is a free labour scam of course it is going to be exploited.

Abuse of the scheme?Isnt the very nature of it to be abused by employers?

author by listenerpublication date Wed Jul 10, 2013 00:31Report this post to the editors

I've actually had a conversation with RBB after one of his talks, and he is definitely not in favour of jobsbridge at all. I think you are misrepresenting him somewhat here.

He's actually quite a decent intelligent conscientious and articulate fellow.
Lets not shoot the messenger here

author by JoeMcpublication date Wed Jul 10, 2013 01:10Report this post to the editors

I've checked the web for any statement from RBB on JobBridge but haven't found anything other than what has been put up here. Perhaps he is personally not a fan of them as such ,but from what is written above, RBB thinks that it's the JobBridge schemes rather than the people on them that are being abused .

The PB4P TD doesn't call for JobBridge to be abolished or for workers to not cooperate with the implementation of them, or for the unemployed to resist being forced onto these schemes . He doesn't demand that trades unions mount a campaign against JobBridge . He wants the scheme to be " carefully monitored".

author by listenerpublication date Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:44Report this post to the editors

Jobsbridge in theory could help someone get back to work, if they were used honestly by a business.

However that's a very big if.

In practice it would probably prove impossible to monitor these schemes properly. Also, there would have to be some protections added for workers and strong penalties for abuses. This won't happen either.

It might be worth an email to RBB to clarify his official position on these schemes, rather than assuming and attacking first. That's only doing the job of FG/Lab for them!

author by Joe Mcpublication date Wed Jul 10, 2013 17:07Report this post to the editors

I was responding to what was published -i.e. made public - on this thread ws. RBB is as you say articulate, but he didn't articulate opposition to JobBridge in the article . His concern was abuse by employers and a lack of monitoring of the scheme. You take the view that JobBridge is ok if it isn't abused by unscrupulous employers . I share the view expressed here by Ciara yesterday - that JobBridge is a "free labour scam" and that unpaid labour is the whole point of JobBridge .

author by davepublication date Wed Jul 10, 2013 18:58Report this post to the editors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMbo2Gwa6WY

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by listenerpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 03:37Report this post to the editors

Actually no I don't take the view that scambridge is ok. I think it's cheap labour through the back door too.

If business people were totally honest, caring and nice, then they might offer useful training for people yet not take advantage of them, or replace paid work with essentially free labour. In that fantasy scenario, the experience might be positive for the trainee and might be a good way of filling out that recent blank spot in a CV which is often hard to explain at interview. However that is really not the world we live in.

So scambridge will never work here, except in the bad way in my opinion. I'm pretty sure that is RBB's opinion too. But tactically he has decided to attack it this way for whatever reasons.

I suggest we ask him and post his answer here, rather than drawing conclusions on limited info.

author by Sanukpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:06Report this post to the editors

The increasing number of internships that replace formerly paid work, is also more and more increasing in Germany. If you look into job websites for entry jobs, 3 fourths or more are "Praktikum" (german for internship.

author by Mickpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 13:47Report this post to the editors

I just had a quick browse through the comments,and i agree with whats being said.

Job bridge like FAS is just another money eating quango that suckers jobs out of the community.

I believe this welfare for business racket,replacing real jobs with unpaid jobs will stagnate the jobs market,nullifying what could be paid work.

With less tax back to the government by way of taxable paid jobs,is this really a good idea?

Have the government really thought this through?

Also i see it adding to the welfare bill,while they are busy cutting welfare of the disabled and single mothers etc,they are not cutting these useless quangos that covert paid work into unpaid work..

To me it doesnt make any sense.

Lets start by freeing up the jobs market by cutting these quangos.

author by JoeMcpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 14:22Report this post to the editors

“The 23 organisations who abused the Government’s JobBridge programme should be named …” Willie O’Dea quoted in yesterday’s Irish Times

Maybe we should write to the Fianna Fáil social protection spokesman as well , Listener ? But seriously , by all means write to RBB. I would do myself but he never,ever replies whenever I write to him for clarification on any subject. I think this is because the articulate use of ambiguous language - i.e. obfuscation- suits his party agenda just fine. He may as you say personally be decent intelligent and conscientious, but in my opinion the SWP's uncritical orientation to the trades unions' leadership makes it impossible for any leading member of that party to articulate a clear , consistently militant , non-collaborationist position in the face of what is clearly the greatest assault on workers? living standards since the nineteen-thirties.

Troika representatives arrived in Ireland earlier this week to check that the government is doing what it has been told to do. What is Siptu’s position on the austerity measures being dictated by the “ international lenders”, on whose behalf this troika is dishing out the orders ? Siptu is clearly against the austerity measures , isn’t it? A week ago Jack O’Connor wrote on the union’s website that only by “immediately abandoning one-sided austerity” would Ireland be able to meet its commitments to its international lenders” . Only a hide-bound sectarian would conclude from that statement that Jack accepts the need for austerity so that Ireland can pay back debts owed out to a bunch of thieves and swindlers . And only a cynical shit-stirrer would say that O’Connor is being deliberately naïve when he says that the austerity measures shouldn’t be “ one-sided” - billionaire swindlers should endure the same austere lives as his members will have to put up with for a few generations or so ! SIPTU Policy Researcher, Loraine Mulligan, referred in May to the risk of JobBridge interns being used merely as cheap labour. Merely as cheap labour? Would I be attacking Ms Mulligan by concluding from this that she accepts that JobBridge is essentially a cheap labour scheme , but she thinks that they could and should be something else as well – training the unemployed so that they will be prepared for when the Celtic tiger begins to roar again in a few generations time, perhaps ?

Maybe UNITE the Union with its SWP firebrand leader Jimmy Kelly will have a clearer position on JobBridge ? Before the last election I asked his supporters to clarify what Kelly could have meant when he wrote in an article published here that with a strong left vote : "We can produce a legacy of genuine alternative views between right and left, social democracy and neo-liberalism" . http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98623?&condense_comment...76761
I’m still scratching my head on that one !
The UNITE the Union website will say something on the subject of JobBridge surely?
"Sorry, no results were found for the term 'JobBridge'.
Please try searching for another search term using the search box below."

Perhaps this suggestion for a well-monitored , “new modern version” of the Workhouse System suggested on Politics .ie last year might be the way to go? Get people off the welfare trap by getting rid of welfare .

Would a new Workhouse system be a better alternative to current social welfare?
________________________________________
“I was reading a bit about the Poor Law Union Act of 1834 and the workhouses that were built as a result to alleviate destitution at the time and it got me thinking.
Currently we are paying out incomprehensible sums via the socail welfare system and getting practically noting in tangible benefits for it. i.e. People claim the dole, free house, child benefit etc and do not work and contribute little back to society and also have no opportunity. The current social welfare creates a trap where people become lethargic and somwhat comfortable living on the welfare since a reasonably high standard of living can be achieved on it with little incentive created to cause the recipient to seek employment. This all entails a huge cost on the taxpayer via higher taxes and thus lower disposable income thus depressing the economy as a whole.

”It got me thinking that a new modern day version of the Workhouse system might be a cheaper and more effective way of dealing with social welfare issues.
Now I know the workhouses of old were not nice places but todays system would be modern and proper standards of care and conditions would be observed while still maintainig the working for support ethos of the Poor Law Union 1834 workhouses.

”Importantly, i'd like to point out that this proposal for new workhouses targets long term unemployed and NOT pensioners or disabled etc. They would continue on the existing or similar welfare system.”

author by Radagastpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 16:19Report this post to the editors

I don't think Jimmy Kelly is a SWP member at the present time

http://www.lookleftonline.org/2010/07/jimmy-kelly-inter...view/

author by JoeMcpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 18:02Report this post to the editors

Here's the relevant passage :

”Before being elected to his position of regional secretary Kelly held membership in the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), a member¬ship he has since had to give up due to the SWP’s policy on not having elected union members within their ranks."

Elected union members are not allowed remain in the SWP ? This sounds like it may be a typo . Grass root union members are not elected , so I suppose they must mean elected union officials ? It seems a bit odd that the SWP wouldn’t allow shop stewards join their organization or that they would be asked to leave after getting voted in by their members. Perhaps if RBB gets back here he could clarify this.
The SWP site http://www.swp.ie/ is very difficult to find anything on as it doesn’t have a search facility . I contacted the party and hopefully we’ll get a response soon . Here for the record is what I wrote :

Hi
There's a current front page indymedia ireland feature about the JobBridge scheme. see: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/103865?comment_limit=0&...96609

The question of the SWP's position regarding the schemes has been raised in the context of a
comment titled , "People Before Profit TD, challenges Minister Burton on outrageous abuse of JobBridge Scheme by private waste company with state contracts containing" . This has brought some critical responses. It would be great if Richard were to get involved with the discussion on indymedia . Failing that, would you be able to offer some clarity to the debate by pointing to any statements made by the SWP on JobBridge? thanks ........Joe

author by Johnpublication date Thu Jul 11, 2013 20:30Report this post to the editors

I know on a personal level this scheme is exploiting the young jobless(thanks labour&fg!),and the desperate, often long term unemployed.

These schemes are not stepping stones,as one commenter put it,this scheme is merely welfare for business.

I've heard the all too familiar stories of people losing their jobs,because of these schemes.

Labour are not stupid,either are Fine gael - they are all to well aware of this.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Fri Jul 12, 2013 16:33Report this post to the editors

The Troika are in town again and youth unemployment is rising here and in other peripheral countries.

Mick is quite right and we need answers now from the Government. Check out the link on internships and hone in on say the position of architectural technician and examine the value placed on a technician who most likely will replace another, who has been made redundant and is now on the Live Register. The maths does not work. Examine what Mick says and if you are unemployed, under employed or online to lose your job, do a little investigation of the services provided by FAS soon to become Solas (ie when they have expugned the rot, deceit and embedded corruption) so that Solas has the clean sheet. What you will find is they closed the unit at Upper Baggot Street and now people are asked to go to D'Olier Street - what a hell hole for demotivation when the market is crying out for creativity and motivation. To quote from Mick....

'Job bridge like FAS is just another money eating quango that suckers jobs out of the community.
I believe this welfare for business racket is about replacing real jobs with unpaid jobs and will stagnate the jobs market, nullifying what could be paid work. With less tax back to the government by way of taxable paid jobs,is this really a good idea? Have the government really thought this through?

No the Government have not thought it through. 5 years and we have 5,000+ interns yet unemployment is approaching 500,000 in a small island country, a member of the EU, the Eurozone, an open economy reliant on tourism, with a population of 4.5 million approx. The Island of Saints and Scholars should have a mantra so well in place by now that when people are looking for jobs at these FAS in transition offices that inspiration abounds. Instead you are directed to the FAS page and an office in D'Olier Street which is most un-inviting from the outside and surrounded by vacant premises. This could be a great grounding for inspiration like setting up pop-up shops but instead the public sector disease of apathy surrounding anything to do with those who are unemployed or people with disabilities coast in their ambivalence until they receive their fat cat pensions at age 55+. Cronyism is smothering opportunities for young people, unemployed people, people with disabilities and this need not be the case. Angela Merkel is facing an election in September 2013; it has been said that she favours the German language as the priority language in the EU. For a country like Ireland, the applications of Mooc to Muddle should be provided by FAS to upskill those who are presently unemployed. We moving ahead now with life-long learning and distance learning. Instead FAS enlists you to learn the computer, within weeks people fail to turn up and then of course there is the period of 4 weeks off for summer holidays. No favours here for people who don't want to be out of work, who want to learn, to upskill, to move on with their lives so that they can pay their mortgages again.

The unemployed need opportunities. They people to inspire them and challenge them. Take a recent article in the 'Pink Paper' and all should go to the library and check it out, it beats our dead pan media coverage. Apparently, Germany is expressing alarm because they face a "Skills Shortage". Germany the country of major industrialists (just think cars Volkswagon/Audi/Volvo/Siemens) are distinctly worried that the demographics, the lack of engineers, the skills shortage, is actually 'threatening their competitiveness and has left manufacturing companies scrambling to find engineers'. Try looking at the FAS courses offered and work out how they are making NO real time provision for people to be able to work in Germany. Who knows people who had to emigrate in the past often returned to Ireland and established their own businesses. These German chief executives warn that the problems in youth unemployment, and education systems, will create serious problems for the leading manufacturers. People are not choosing engineering and these companies will be forced to move more of the research and development to countries who supply their needs for engineers....the countries they are talking about is not Ireland, but China and India. They project that by 2025 they may need as many as "500,000 engineers".

Raglan Road, Dublin 4 used to have the Siemens HQ; Pembroke Road, it was IBM, Kraft. We need to be up-to-date with changes. Peter Loscher, the chief executive of Siemens (the largest engineering group in Europe) refers to the pending crisis of too few engineers, and in particular in Germany. He goes on to say "We have to ensure that our education system is providing the right engineering skills, that we have qualified immigration coming to Europe... And perhaps the biggest issue that European industry has to grapple with is that we have almost 24% youth unemployment". Opportunities can be created out of 'Think Tanks' and mini gatherings in peoples' homes, in libraries of 'Sheds'. It is hard to believe that in Australia, as I was told today, there is massive shortage of truck drivers and that it is possible to earn upwards on $200,000 aussie. We don't hear the FAS de-motivators talking emigration as part of the life plan. It is about giving people the option to have the training and frankly the internships are not suffice input from the Department of Social Welfare because the reality is many interns are exploited. It is worth reading the article in Forbes about Internships in the US....Supreme Court talks the talk and thankfully walks the walk.

Germany is losing many of its small companies, people, their education, is the only way forward and the scandalous mismanagement of the whole FAS Internship to Solas transition has failed dramatically by not taking the spectrum of thinking latterally. Shame on them and shame also on the trade unions who greedily take the dues of workers particularly in the now ailing construction and retail sector while they feather their own nests. Trade Unions are operating large bank accounts of monies gathered by many of those now unemployed. The money sits in accounts in our state owned banks yielding virtually no return when this money should be upskilling those who have lost their jobs. The trade union officials are as well provided for as a lot of our public sector with scant knowledge of what it is like to lose a job. Much blame is placed at the door of FAS. The trade unions also need investigation. Benchmarking created the cosy mindsets that trade union representatives failed dismally in providing programmes to upskill people who become unemployed.

Citizen journalism is needed now more than ever. Bureaucracy strangles growth; people can stop it.

author by fredpublication date Fri Jul 12, 2013 18:21Report this post to the editors

why should we subsidise the training of Germany's corporate engineering workforce with Irish taxpayer money?

Let the Germans directly fund our universities if they want engineers!

author by garypublication date Fri Jul 12, 2013 18:26Report this post to the editors

I know one guy who has gotten his pension off FAS for ten years!

This country is falling apart at the seams,and we are giving ex FAS workers pensions!

author by Joe Mcpublication date Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:24Report this post to the editors

Re. yesterday's post , I have received this prompt reply to my email from Madeline at the SWP :

"I had a look at the indymedia page you linked to. I believe RBB is getting misrepresented there. I can see that the language of his statement is perhaps confusing but the SWP is very clear in its opposition to Jobsbridge. Please see this article: http://www.swp.ie/content/unions-must-resist-jobbridge We clearly call on the trade unions to fight this scheme."

"Regarding trade union members and officials, we make a distinction between members and shop stewards vs union officials whose job it is to negotiate with the bosses and ultimately get forced to sell workers out. Clearly, when the trade union leaders are fighting we support them while also organising rank and file members separately. Of course , when the union leaders sell workers out we strongly criticize them. This is quite clear from the many attacks on our website of the SIPTU leadership. See for example: http://www.swp.ie/content/jack-o-connor-siptu-leadershi...st-go"

author by Comyn - FAS in Transition to Solas.publication date Sat Jul 13, 2013 15:54Report this post to the editors

Fred I wholly agree.

Germans will need the trained engineers and we have the unemployed. Troika and negotiation programme must tally and part of the deal going forward ought to be facilitating Ireland to write-down or devalue the extremities of debt which are a stranglehold that prevents the economic growth we need.

Joe Mc
'Of course, when the union leaders sell workers out we strongly criticize them. This is quite clear from the many attacks on our website of the SIPTU leadership. See for example: http://www.swp.ie/content/jack-o-connor-siptu-leadershi...st-go" Trade Unions JobBridge and internships must stand up to scrutiny.

FAS in transition to Solas must be a product/vehicle of change. Priority is job creation, fair play, internships yes but perhaps based on shorter periods to avoid exploitation. An appraisal by the employer showing a career path structure with the objective of granting the person on JobBridge is the very least feedback that should be given to those paying for the Internships ie Department of Social Protection. There must be a sequence and the employer who pays nothing for the intern should contribute the value added by way of mentoring to ensure that work is available to the potential employee. It is called accountability.

Social media must not be underestimated in the methodology of getting people jobs. Already people are using to twitter and other sites.

Comyn

author by JoeMcpublication date Sat Jul 13, 2013 18:16Report this post to the editors

The SWP published one critical article on JobBridge over a year ago saying that trade unions must take the lead in fighting the scheme. Since then there has been nothing on the subject that the SWP can point to until the RBB statement reproduced here by Andrew two days ago. I am accused by both Listener and Madeline of misrepresenting what RBB wrote in that article , but neither have pointed out what part of the article they think I misrepresented.

Donal Mac Fhearraigh’s wrote in the May 2012 article that Madeline linked to :

“The JobBridge scheme is merely a means for the Government to reduce the numbers on the Live Register without creating any actual jobs.”

JobBridge is about much more than that .

Two shops open the same day selling the same product . One employs a worker at the cost of fifty euros a week , the other located across the road pays its worker three hundred a week . Which shop will be more likely to survive ?

Once JobBridge takes off, all companies will have to use it or go out of business.

The trades unions know this full well but are still prepared to work with the government to implement these schemes. Not so long ago the SWP –and Jack O’Connor for that matter - would have called the current trades unions’ response to JobBridge something like “ class collaboration” or “corporatism” or "lackeys feeding off the breadcrumbs of capitalism" . Today they call it monitoring – the only complaint in the case of the SWP seems to be that they think this particular trade union leadership isn’t doing a good enough job at monitoring the schemes .

author by Jhakaspublication date Sat Jul 13, 2013 20:46Report this post to the editors

I was unemployed since 2011 instead sitting at home and doing nothing I started to upgrade myself as my computer skills were zero at that time so I joined online college and finished ECDL after finishing computer course still could not find anything I came across another course which was very relevant to my background, course title was “Food process technicians” and the providers were as been told “CPL” under the banner of momentum the course was consisted on 18 modules the duration of course was 40 weeks, based on 20 weeks learning and 20 weeks work placements.
The modules were;
• Communications (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Health ,Safety And Environmental Awareness (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Infection Prevention and Control (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Food Hygiene (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Managing Food Hygiene (FETAC LEVEL 6)
• Conducting Food Hygiene Audits( FETAC LEVEL6)
• Inventory Control(FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Supply Chain Operations (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Lean Manufacturing (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Supervisory Skills (FETAC LEVEL 6)
• Personal and Professional Development (FETAC LEVEL6)
• Quality Process.
• Cleanroom Operations (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Continuous Improvement (FETAC LEVEL 5)
• Customer Service (FETAC LEVEL 6)
• Manual Handling

In the induction we been told that the companies are looking for us by the director of CPL, and been posed after finishing of this course companies are waiting for us apart from that this was not the reality the way the course was delivered unbelievable poor standards. Some of the trainers were incompetent. They were hired because they were cheap actually they were google teachers. If any student asked any question, the classic answer was “ok I google it for you”. Especially at the end of course, in few of the modules, instead of FETAC certification turned into internal certification which was not the case in the beginning no hand books in some of the modules and the only ideology after it was saving more and more money and we all ended up as general operatives the places we can get without this course because it is actually a free hand for three months to gain an experience after all this intense learning no one of us were expecting this finish Such a waste of time and funds.
My story is not finished here this is just a beginning . My second attempt was to find an internship but here was more surprises were waiting for me If you search over the internet you will find a lot of internships available everyday If you can’t find I can tell you the websites. I started trying myself to look around to find a better opportunity obviously I searched for the jobs with my current qualifications to be a part of working nation. There more surprises were waiting for me all of sudden thousands of people looking for a job in small job market with the same qualifications and the same courses are still on funded by the government and European union and producing more and more labour in the same trades even now there is signs in the fields and advertising for the courses and selling the dreams. Internships free hand from tyre shop assistant , managers ,assistant managers ,engineers surprisingly highly qualified people companies are looking for internships where this going to end no one knows for example few advertisements for internships;
Human Resources Officer

The intern will gain practical experience in: All areas of Human Resources within our company. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Performance appraisal, employee engagement, employment contracts, hiring process, documentation management, dealing with recruitment agencies, training, planning and scheduling and time and attendance system development. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Managing the employment process, development of relevant human resources policies, application of relevant employment legislation, communicating with different levels of staff across an entire organization, goal setting and delivery. DUNGARVAN € 12/07/2013
Fitness Instructor

The intern will gain practical experience in Fitness Specifics, Front Office Admin, POS Retail and On-Line Selling. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following Retail, Office Admin and Group Fitness and Personal Training. On completion the intern will have attained skills in Group Fitness, Office Administration and POS Retail, On-Line Selling, time management and organisational skills. LETTERKENNY € 12/07/2013
Quantity Surveyor

The intern will gain practical experience in preparing, completing & submitting tenders for various sized projects in the construction industry. This will include interpretation of tender documents, measurement, estimating, sourcing material rates & liaising with Clients/Architects/Contractors/Suppliers. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following Buildsoft, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Office, AutoCAD & general measurement/estimating. On completion the intern will have attained skills in measurement, estimating, sourcing material rates, dealing with Clients, computer skills, team working, and communication. WESTPORT € 12/07/2013
Email System Administrator

The intern will gain practical experience in working with a multinational team of subject matter experts in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the involvement with processes to maintain and improve satisfaction of the customer. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following, project management and working with internal IT systems. On completion the intern will have attained skills in project management and using internal I.T systems i.e inSight, RNS, E-commerce, phone system, Oracle, Lotus Notes) GALWAY CITY € 12/07/2013
IT Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in using, implementing, maintaining and troubleshooting veterinary practice management and accounting software, installing and maintaining hardware, setting up internal networks, using and implementing cloud based software. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Veterinary practice management software and systems(formal and informal), system and network management. On completion the intern will have attained skills in veterinary practice management software systems, hardware and software installation and management. MONKSTOWN/PASSAGE W/RINGASKIDD € 12/07/2013
Software Developer

The intern will gain practical experience in web and mobile application development and will work as part of the Development Team. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following Agile development processes, tools and technologies, testing (JUnit), Cloud Development (Amazon AWS), Web Application development using the Spring framework including Spring MVC, AJAX and AOSQL databases. Mobile phone development using HTML5, PhoneGap, JQuery as well as native development for iOS and Android platforms. Markup languages and tools: HTML, CSS, XML, JQuery, JQeury mobile, JavaScript libraries and frameworks, Unix/Linux shell scripts. On completion the intern will have attained skills in web and mobile application development lifecycle. COBH € 12/07/2013
Accountant

The intern will gain practical experience in Accounting. Experience will be offered to the successful applicant at all levels of accounts preparation. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following :the filing of tax related returns for eg. VAT and PAYE, how to record basic entry and book-keeping, how to prepare PAYE and tax calculations. The intern will be mentored by a qualified accountant through the 9 month internship providing them with the vital training required. On completion the intern will have attained skills in bookkeeping and accounting. GALWAY CITY € 12/07/2013
Financial Planning & Analysis Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in: Working in a fast paced environment, day to day operations of the key Statutory and Month End processes of the host organisation, Microsoft Office. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Financial Planning and Analysis monthly tasks; posting journals, assisting with deck preparation; ad hoc tasks for the team under the supervision of the Team Lead in order for the intern to gain experience. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Financial Planning and Analysis monthly tasks; posting journals, assisting with deck preparation; ad hoc tasks for the team under the supervision of the Team Lead in order for the intern to gain experience. SANDYFORD - DUBLIN 16 € 12/07/2013
Finance Administrator

The intern will gain practical experience in: Supporting the Company and Finance manager with all aspects of running a busy corporate office. The trainee will liaise with our international clients, our tax, accounts and compliance departments. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Client Account Management. Company secretarial. Bookkeeping. Compliance and areas of Tax and Accounting. The intern will receive training and be mentored by the financial manager and will be encourage to participate in and learn all aspects of the company activity. On completion the intern will have attained skills in order to liaise with clients and external parties from many nationalities around the world in order to successfully manage a portfolio of Accounts. DUBLIN 2 € 12/07/2013
Trainee Accountant

The intern will gain practical experience in all aspects of accounting, bookkeeping, prepare accounts to financial statement stage, taxation, VAT, payroll. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following IT accounting software application, Audit, company formation. On completion the intern will have attained skills in book keeping, taxation, VAT, payroll. BLACKROCK - DUBLIN SOUTH COUNT € 12/07/2013
Marketing Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in development and implementation of a marketing strategy to support the sustainable implementation and marketing of accessible and interactive communities. This will involve working with stakeholders within a community structure to develop a marketing strategy for communites based on existing resources, potential opportunities and information. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: in house computer applications. On completion the intern will have attained skills in IT, communications, marketing and development. WEXFORD (URBAN) € 12/07/2013
Marketing Executive

The intern will gain practical experience in: Marketing management, advertising, sales and customer services. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Sales and promotions. Advertising and pricing stock. Customer service and business development. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Marketing and advertising. Business development. Promotional and customer services. Marketing strategies and customer care and communication skills. TOGHER - CORK CITY € 12/07/2013
Maintenance Person/Gardener

The intern will gain practical experience in maintaining the grounds of a Nursing Home including the sensory garden, the vegetable garden and the glass house. The intern will also gain experience in the overall general maintenance of the home e.g repairs. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the use of a ride on lawnmower, tools for maintaining shrubbery, maintenance of the vegetable and sensory gardens. The intern will also receive training in overall maintenance of the home. On completion the intern will have attained skills in garden and household maintenance and liaising with elderly people with dementia and sensory impairments. Applicants must supply suitable character references and be prepared to complete a Garda vetting form. BALLYAGRAN € 12/07/2013
Sales Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in cold calling employers and job seekers, researching occupational duties, researching vacancies, customer care, relationship management, attending exhibitions and events and Face to Face contact with clients. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: client management, use of the database, customer relations, sales and up selling. On completion the intern will have attained skills in Business Development; enhanced communication and telephone skills. KILKENNY CITY € 12/07/2013
IT Helpdesk Engineer

The intern will gain practical experience in: Helpdesk support experience with customer and the opportunity to progress to a field services engineer. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Dell Server & Storage products. Experience in dealing with customers over the phone to take and log calls. Good telephone & Communication skills. Trouble shooting skills. Windows Desktop / Server Platform experience. Active Directory Exchange trouble shooting. Networked / Printer troubleshooting. Multi Vendor experience, Dell, HP, IBM. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Dell & Microsoft Products. DUBLIN 6 € 12/07/2013
Online Marketing Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in: Creating and implementing online marketing campaigns. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: In-house systems, design and copy skills with regard to marketing promotions, html skills if necessary, creating reports, and project management. On completion the intern will have attained skills in all aspects of creating and implementing an online marketing campaign for e-letter readers... In project management and communicating with a team. And also in creating and interpreting reports. WATERFORD CITY € 12/07/2013
Marketing Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in marketing strategy, client management, direct marketing, online marketing and managing specific marketing campaigns. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Customer Service, Direct Marketing, Marketing and Sales (courses through the National College of Ireland). On completion the intern will have attained skills in executing a marketing and advertising campaign and liaising with external suppliers including clothing suppliers and print and design companies. Lunches are included. KIMMAGE - DUBLIN 12 € 12/07/2013
Manager

The intern will gain practical experience in restaurant organisation, coffee making, customer service, ordering and human resources. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following in Restaurant Management, HACCP, stock control, margin control, stock ordering and HR training. On completion the intern will have attained skills in customer service skills, organisational systems, stock control skills, telephone skills, booking systems and personnel management skills. TRALEE € 12/07/2013
Pre Sales & Marketing Support

The intern will gain practical experience in: Planning & executing pre sales and marketing campaigns by phone, email and online for a sustainability company. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following; Marketing strategies, pre sales, professional communications and business sustainability. The intern will train in the marketing and sales department and will be assigned a mentor to assist them in learning all aspects of the company policies and procedures. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Pre sales and marketing. Learning product information. The will enhance their communication and customer care skills to a hgh standard. RANELAGH € 12/07/2013
Client Sales Manager Analyst

The intern will gain practical experience in creating reports used by senior management relating to revenue and sales, experience in Citis,Know Your Client process which is required by the regulatory in Ireland. Assisting in the organisation of client marketing events Seminars and webinars.The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Compliance, Irish and UK regulations, reporting, and product training, as well as industry and self development. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: analytical review of client revenues, compiling Monthly Business Reports for management, coordinating client events, understanding of regulatory requirements and processes. Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe, and various online systems used by Citi. DUBLIN 1 € 12/07/2013
Letting Agent

The intern will gain practical experience in: All aspects of working in an office enjoinment within the property industry. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: The intern will receive training in rent valuations, lease agreements, marketing of property, learning company policies and procedures. The candidate will be mentored on a daily basis by the Property manager and will gain a valuable inside into the workings of a busy estate agency. On completion the intern will have attained skills in all aspects of letting and property management. Dealing with the public and accessing information. DUBLIN 2 € 12/07/2013
Website Design and Online Sales Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in maintaining websites and office administration. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following Online sales, Website Maintenance, Search Engine optimisation, office skills. On completion the intern will have attained skills in maintaining the content and layout of websites, basic graphical skills and search engines placement skills. ASHBOURNE/RATOATH € 12/07/2013
Web Developer

The intern will gain practical experience in: Web Design, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Web Design, Website Content Management Systems and Search Engine Optimization. Exposure to Joomla, CSS and JQuery. The Intern will be mentored by the Directors of the Company throughout the internship. On completion the intern will have attained skills in Commercial Website Design and Development, Content Management Systems (Joomla) and Internet Marketing Techniques. DROGHEDA TOWN € 12/07/2013
Online Sales Executive

The intern will gain practical experience in: Website management, social media marketing including customer service, customer sales, and learning to manage client/customer relations. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Joomla Website management system (CMS) for publishing content on the World Wide Web, creating and managing databases and online sales. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Website management, database correlation and management, marketing, sales and customer relations management. MULLINGAR € 12/07/2013
Homewares & Accessories Buyer s Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in a busy and dynamic work environment. They will be exposed to several aspects of the buying and merchandising process (specifically Homewares & Accessories) in one of Ireland s leading retail organisations. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Telephone skills, Microsoft Office, buying and office administration. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Buying support category buyer. Microsoft Office suite of programs. Internal, national and international business communications and Analysis of stock and sales patterns. SWORDS - DUBLIN NORTH COUNTY € 12/07/2013
Graphic Designer - Illustrator / Animator

The intern will gain practical experience in developing illustrations for online learning environments such as eBooks and tutorials for students, explaining a broad range of subject matter. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following; producing illustrations for web delivery (desktop & mobile devices), using vector/bitmap software; Adobe Photoshop, Abobe Flash, Adobe Fireworks and Prezi. Web design technologies are optional to explore such as CSS and HTML. On completion the intern will have attained skills in developing quality illustrations and (optionally) animations for eLearning and multimedia industries and in working in a dynamic team working on next generation learning technologies. DUBLIN 2 € 12/07/2013
Graphic Designer

The intern will gain practical experience in: Graphic Design and web applications. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following areas of design and design construction with particular emphasis on print. The candidate will receive training in all aspects of the company activity and will be encouraged to progress within the company under the guidance of the company manager. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: Desktop Publishing and Customer relations relative to design application. CAVAN COUNTY € 12/07/2013
Recruitment Consultant & Administrator

The intern will gain practical experience in the day to day general administration with a recruitment sales team. The Intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: Undertaking candidate searches for key assignments. Advertising vacancies on key jobsites/social media sites. Meeting clients to discuss their needs. On completion the intern will have attained skills in: understanding clients needs and offering relevant recruitment solutions. Sourcing and matching candidates with your clients needs. Delivering on agreed targets and managing the business social media requirements. ATHLONE (WEST) € 12/07/2013
HR Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in typing policies and procedures as well as IT applications in the HR Department of a hospital and general HR experience. The Intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: HR best practice and HR policies; including typing policies and putting them in a central location; trained in Mirosoft Work and TMS (Time Management System). On completion the intern will have attained skills in the workings of a HR Department and IT technology used by the function. BLACKROCK - DUBLIN SOUTH COUNT € 12/07/2013
IT Customer Support Assistant

The intern will gain practical experience in customer handling for advanced Information Technology product and service related to online security. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following: use of advanced online ticketing system, customer query handling training, IT services basics, online security training, encryption software and networking services. On completion the intern will have attained skills in customer handling for advanced Information Technology product and service related to online security. After the internship the person will attain skills required to work as Customer Relationship Manager. DUBLIN 2 € 12/07/2013

above are few internships good example of free hand.

author by marypublication date Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:31Report this post to the editors

Most of the fas courses are out of date,and arent current course that you would find in a college or university.

I done an ECDL course in 2007,it was also delivered with a very poor standard,if we asked questions sometimes the tutor did not know the answer,and would say ''i will get back to you on that,moving on'',was the most common response.

Most of the student didnt turn up but were passed on their course,it was a total joke from start to finish.

author by Comyn - Culture Waste of Resourcespublication date Sun Jul 14, 2013 16:00Report this post to the editors

Jhakas

We need people like you and Mary to report on what is exactly happening to people who become unemployed. Without people talking the talk and writing via citizen journalism this rot continues to destroy the potential of people who are able and willing to work but are not facilitated. Take a simple rose bush, if you don't prune it, you won't get the further bloom of roses. 5 years now we are into the recession and the scandal of FAS courses, Internships, JobBridge are but thorns to ensure that the unemployed are sufficiently occupied with unprofessional, non motivated, non creative, fetac courses that they either choose to suffer on in silence or emigrate. It is time for people to tackle the culture of waste and this can be done.

***Imagine asking a question and the tutor says I'll check it up 'on google'.
***Then as reported two weeks into the course and half the people decide they don't want to go, so they vote with their feet with no obligation to their fellow potential colleagues and they just don't attend.
***Take the 20+ yr old with mental health history enrolled on FAS course Fetac horticulture, first he doesn't attend, then he drops out. There is no sense of commitment like that of Jhakas in that he is trying to improve his situation for himself, and for others. The horticultural course place is wasted and somebody with a similar disability has lost out on an opportunity while this person instead walks the streets, bored, unwanted with enough social security to keep in this entangled web of being controlled by society. Take this culture of waste a stage further and then ask about the recent murders, most particularly the one in Castlebar.

The culture of waste is part of the Celtic Tiger over-drive but five years on it should be well tackled and replaced with productivity and creation. The grassroots need now to say enough, it is time to tackle the culture of waste and ensure that FAS in transition to Solas is the product of root and branch investigation and the courses they provide are up to speed and reflect the demands of the global marketplace.

People need jobs. They need skills, they need to learn languages for example German. ECDL by all reports now is so dated that it is totally out of synch with the qualifications demanded by those who take on the Interns ie they employers who pay nothing for them and because that is the case they give these interns no value added component to ensure that they gain paid employment with near immediate effect.

The game plan is upskill to get jobs. FAS has failed but then so have the trade unions in particular SIPTU who is reported to be sitting on 30 million euros plus. Cash in subsidised banks generates nothing these days and if the Unions can't use the cash to generate enterprise in a time of such need - shame on them. They are too cosy in bed with the politicians, the civil servants and the EU gravy train that they have lost the drive to feel the pain of stress, pressure and hoplessness. Work is the challenge. If there is work people will gain the confidence to express their views to the politicians and tell them to stand down the Troika and seek the write-downs in debt that Ireland needs because it is a noose around our neck.

Culture of waste, as stated before, is the product of the Tiger but it is up to the grassroots people and the unemployed to become engaged and tackle the problem .... asking for cost benefit analysis assessments and performance related outcomes. If an intern is accepted by a semi-state, ensure the employers are committed to find the person a place in the employment market or if the person is willing and capable, encourage them back to education. It works - look to the people who from 1997 onwards who went back to education in our universities, people with disabilities, people from under privileged backgrounds and note education is the way forward. These are the people who should provide the inspiration for so many now unemployed. The time is here and the road is long and its called distance learning and life-long learning.

Jhakas. An extraordinary piece of what one can only call culture of waste in education. It should be copied to the Department of Social Protection with a warning note: We are not stupid people, we are not worth nothing, we deserve more, so please when you introduce Solus, please obliterate 'Culture of Waste and no honour bound' and ensure that the proposed education courses are properly prepared. The people wants jobs, they want education. We know the theory that you never get full employment but near 500,000 is a crisis level that commits this theory to the dust bin.

Comyn

author by Johnpublication date Sun Jul 14, 2013 22:12Report this post to the editors

Let me tell you my story comyn...

I've been on two ce schemes,and one job-bridge internship,and i had the pick of outdated courses from fas,im now in the middle of my job bridge second internship,with no job in sight.

This is not just the case for me i know a lady who was on two fas schemes and didnt get any employement ..

In fact every single person who did the ce scheme with me did not secure employment.

The company in question has just hired(i heard off an ex co worker of mine) more ce staff,and there is no cooling off period they can have a ce worker working for them for up to three years..

When our time finished up - they just hired more staff.

I seen the same with job bridge although there is a cooling off period - it doesn't deter them.

In my situation i did complain but they sent nothing satisfactory back and said they would investigate the matter until further notice,but alas nothing was done the same company is free to hire and exploit free labour again..

I think these internships and ce schemes or job scams or whatever you want to call them,lead to the stagnation of the jobs market..

The economy won't pick up until these cancerous schemes are axed completely,it would be cheaper in the long run to give everybody working in the fas job scam management involuntary redundancy..

author by davepublication date Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:24Report this post to the editors

I believe there should be a pre-requirement for companies taking on free labour job bridge staff - that they must employ at least 25 % of the staff they take on after the cessation of job bridge ''job'' training.

Otherwise there will be out right abuse which is what we see on these internships/schemes.

I think FAS is worse though,as it is longer than 9 months and there is no cooling off period,with FAS you can re-hire straight away.

These quangos create unemployment,for that reason they should be cut completely off the welfare budget.

author by Jhakaspublication date Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:57Report this post to the editors

Hi all
it is now long time these FAS schemes are on and con artist making money .there is lot's of victims of job bridge sort of schemes some of them started talking now some still silent but only talking on the different forums in a personal capacity is enough or do we need more than that now I came across another scam I been to couple of recruiters at Blanchards town. they were pretending that they are recruiting for warehouse and for that all the applicants applying for the job need "manual handling course" even there is no job guarantee applicants still has to pay €35.00 for the course of couple of hours. when I told to receptionist I already have done this course she was not happy with that she took my cv and threw that at the side and when I left the office my feeling was she is going to throw my cv in a bin as per my understanding may be there was only one or two positions in a warehouse but recruiters were making money by giving training to every single applicant during my presence in their office at least ten job seekers applied for the job it's mean recruiter company by average making at least € 200 an hour only from course, for my surprise when I went to second recruiter she literally refused me by saying this they only can take my cv if I do this course and if I have done it still has to do it again.
instead wasting of money and energy on this type of legal scams better stop applying for jobs and doing courses for upgrades I think it is better get involved in some community work for personal satisfaction.
" imagine an internship for charity fund raisers"
how far they gone and they have no shame. Now they are giving a training of begging to our next generation.
My personal advice before taking any course make sure who is the provider and you will be shocked by this 90% of recruiters are involved in training courses and selling dreams.

author by JoeMcpublication date Mon Jul 15, 2013 14:29Report this post to the editors

Comwyn writes that schemes such as this one should "reflect the demands of the global marketplace." JobBridge isn't the result of some mistake made by the Irish government, Cromwyn . Check out the global marketplace and you'll see that the JobBridge free labour scheme has certainly been designed with the marketplace's demands borne fully in mind . The Irish government wouldn't have got permission for or be allowed to fund JobBridge if they hadn't sent details of the scheme to the Troika in advance for approval.

People posting here have evidently internalized the global marketplaces' need for free labour already - Dave for instance writes that "there should be a pre requirement to taking on free labour staff". That is pretty much the attitude taken by the trade unions towards JobBridge -free labour is okay so long as the schemes can be monitored to see there's a bit of "training" involved . There will certainly be "work experience" on them , but the only training for participants on these schemes once they get going properly will be in how to be a good lick .

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Mon Jul 15, 2013 16:31Report this post to the editors

'Worth reading article in Forbes magazine. 14th June 2013. 'Is the Unpaid Internship Dead?'

There are 6 legal requirements for unpaid internships.....it is worth reading'

John Jhakas Dave John Mc

JobBridge is giving away the valued added of the person based on the demands of the employer who is under no obligation to assist the person gain full-time employment either with them or elsewhere for no remuneration. The comprehensive responses show that there is major exploitation of the will and capabilities of people who are without work. Technically, it is a contract without any due consideration. It can't work. It hasn't worked according to the Supreme Court in the US and it is up to the people in Ireland to make the politicians learn that just as a lack literacy humbled people in 1913 now the literacy is replaced with keeping people away from the benefits of the computer era.

Stephen's Green today: the flags blow in the wind and guess what the message is: to all the near 500,000 out there, the flags state that 'Dublin is a great place to work'. Well if this is so let us start with the unemployed and under-employed and stop the mis-match, the us and them divide, the creation of an illiterate (computer based) underclass. Let's start by telling the Minister for Education and the Minister for Social Protection that they need to know about what FAS failed to provide, that the FETAC courses are inadequate and the whole system is embedded in cronyism.

The culture of waste needs to be tackled and the way forward is through integrity, honesty and communication. We need to learn that labour is not something useless but that it has very distinctive values and that people count, carers count, shop assistants, train drivers, bus drivers, nurses, doctors. However we need to know that if FAS in transition to Solus is going to provided Fetac education courses for people who are unemployed or for that matter under employed that the standard, the motivation, the career path exists and that integrity prevails. If the semi-state sector take on an intern and he/she works well for the 9 months, this person needs a fair contribution in money and if at all possible a job in recognition of the 'value added' they have given.

Society today is about information overload but once you are aware of this you can learn to focus and you can adapt to the changing times. Social media, twitter, facebook are available to all, if not in the home place in the local library or internet cafes. We think that those who educate us via Fetac or back to education know all - they don't, they err and badly because bureaucracy keeps people in administration scratching each others' backs instead of thinking of others. Think of two kinds of people (someone enlightened me today) - there are the takers and the taken. Well, we have had this culture and it is now time to make changes.

Rehab is something similar to FAS and Fetac. The Chief executive, a woman is reported to earn several hundred thousand yet those on the shop floors or the warehouses that ensure Tesco have food delivered to its outlets are silent - we don't hear from them? Fear is the means of keeping vulnerable people quiet and some of these doyennes of the FAS/Rehab/NGO's are expert at ensuring the divide.

Go back to the "Pink Paper", check out our semi-state sector eg the IDA. What does STEM stand for? This is where our future employment lies yet are the courses to be provided by Solus or for that matter the internships sufficient to upskill our people as necessary. The FAS office should be a hub where people can gather, maintain contact via computer, and create for themselves and others and link into all the information out there. It is worth for instance visiting the EU office in Dawson Street.

Take a child going to school now. Certain parents can buy a child friendly iPad. The child is just starting school so it can download from the school. Will this give the child an advantage or maybe not!

Comyn

author by Jhakaspublication date Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:19Report this post to the editors

I think Ireland needs Internee ministers too especially in the Department of education and social protection. Because there is a big shortage of skills. So all the unemployed can serve in this "industry" and can help in the growth of" scams" instead "importing the scams" we can export the scams too other countries.

author by InternMyHolepublication date Tue Jul 16, 2013 20:24Report this post to the editors

We all agree that our FG/Lab politicians are all useless gits with heads in the trough, pushing everything through with their majority. When pressed, they just say "it's the troika, our hands are tied"

Well since they are only doing what they are told, an intern could easily do that. So why are we paying 100-200k each for these guys??

Lets give 'em a bit of their own medicine, kick 'em all out and replace them with a bunch of interns. It can't be much worse, and we'd save many millions of euro.

We could run a "how to be a corrupt self serving crook" course and charge each intern to do the course.

In Greece, every citizen was expected to take part in decision making. That was democracy. So why do only a privileged few do so in Ireland 2013? rotating Internships would be a lot more like true democracy than our present fucked corrupt system.

author by marypublication date Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:21Report this post to the editors

Job bridge as other people have established (and some political parties in Ireland have admitted) does not benefit the people of Ireland.

So who does it benefit,other than miserly businesses,and Joan burton?

author by fredpublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 18:30Report this post to the editors

Latest speech by Enda Kenny, claiming he is prompted by the stated desires of the Troika, talks of "helping" 175,000 long term unemployed into employment. Not creating actual jobs, but harassing people dependent on welfare for food on the table into jobs that actually do not exist. This is code for just creating systems to harass the unemployed to breaking point until they crack and emigrate / get off the live register, or else push them into serfbridge.

There was mention of restructuring rent supplement to tie it to efforts to re-enter work. That is code for harassing people dependent for a roof over their head on rent supplement off of rent supplement, and effectively having to pay their full rent out of their welfare payment.

Since rents have not come down very much, that is catastrophic for those dependent on welfare, meanwhile there is no effort to reduce rents to businesses or individuals.

This is effectively the beginning of another wave of attacks on welfare supports to the least well off

author by ciarapublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 18:45Report this post to the editors

I agree with what youre saying. Futhermore this is a kick in the teeth to those who are looking for jobs,as we all know job bridge jobs take away actual paid jobs from the market.

This isnt job creation - this is further creating pockets of unemployment where job bridge raises its ugly head.

This FG/LAB/FF government is beyond a joke,can he honestly say job creation with a straight face?Where are the real jobs enda?We need to stop re-voting these neo liberals back in time and time again..

People need to wake up!

author by Notanotherquangopublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 19:07Report this post to the editors

What is the purpose of all these departments/oraganisations,who are they reporting to?And what is their role in helping to reduce the unemployment rate?

We have five seperate quangos,we have TUS,Solas,Job plus(which was set up by joan burton in febuary 2013),Job bridge,and FAS.

Why are there five seperate quangos in one country!

There is a FAS building in Birr,still empty i kid you not,and being paid for by the state,as they entered into a contract for the last ten years!

author by ciarapublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 19:27Report this post to the editors

enda kenny has conducted himself dishonestly,he in the news item i seen today never once mentioned job bridge as a means of ''job'' creation.

he rambled on about how he would acheive getting 75,000 into actual jobs.

a job enda,by definition is work you get paid for and taxed..

he is a liar.

author by fredpublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 22:03Report this post to the editors

some discussion of this latest scam here:
http://www.politics.ie/forum/economy/213269-enda-plans-....html

Independent article link here:
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/kennys-big-plan-to....html

There are NO JOBS. This is just harassment of the vulnerable

author by davepublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 22:12Report this post to the editors

What really irks me about enda kenny is that he LIED to the nation,and did it with complete ease,waffling on about how he is going to get 75,000 people jobs..

When in reality he is not getting them jobs he is exploiting the most vunerable of our community with job bridge internships and fas ce schemes..

As was said before these internships convert paid work into unpaid work,creating pockets of unemployment wherever it rears its ugly head.

Shame on enda kenny.

Can you really trust a guy who can comfortably lie to the nation on our state television?

author by notanotherquangopublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 22:35Report this post to the editors

Some of the responses thus far,have been online,this is not good enough......People need to be out on the streets demanding the resignation of these fat cat ministers who refuse to touch their own salaries,yet are happy to cut ours..

There is a great injustice going on in our society and it lies with the top,some heads need to roll,and true democracy needs to prevail,people power is needed in order for democracy to be restored..

author by fredpublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 22:43Report this post to the editors

This was the most worrying aspect. Private companies like ATOS in the UK no doubt.

http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/comment/16007-atos...rship

Quote:
"Apart from the killing made from its Olympic sponsorship, Atos is also being paid £100 million per year by the Coalition government to re-assess benefit claims, facilitating the cuts by forcing the sick and disabled back to work. All this for a benefits system with a 0.3% fraud rate. "

Surely you should actually create some jobs before pushing people into them Enda?. However FG logic is to do the harassment first before any actual jobs are created. Ludicrous!!

I agree with the poster who said that internet commentary and "clicktivism" is not enough and we need to organise on the streets. It's well past time when the unemployed formed their own union or pressure group to defend the relentless attacks on them.

author by ciarapublication date Thu Jul 18, 2013 23:03Report this post to the editors

Im interested in your idea for an unemployment pressure group,is there anyway it could be set up?

All i see right now is the unemployed being either a. discarded or b. exploited,it's just not good enough!

author by fredpublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 07:02Report this post to the editors

Hi ciara. I have some ideas on that. But people are just so passive. Organising people these days is like herding cats or banging your head off a wall. I've been burned out trying to do so so many times over the years. They expect a few people to do everything for them, then they don't bother even turning up. A recent article by wsm seemed to show equal exasperation to mine at the public's response: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/103839

I'm open to new ideas if you have them though. But the world weary cynic in me is saying "you know how this usually pans out". I guess I might give it one more try if the right type of people were to join me in the effort. Have you a suggestion as to how we could discuss this further? IRC maybe?

author by ciarapublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 09:58Report this post to the editors

If we could advertise in local papers and newsletters off our own bat,maybe organise a room,and then a bus to dublin to the dail appoint a pr person out of the group to ring the press and tell them what our goals and objectives are.
My main objective would be to demand a better unemployment service that creates actual jobs,and not an exploitation scheme, and to demand the abolition of such schemes and to take the unemployed a little more seriously.
Currently we have 5 quangos in ireland - all involved in the exploitation/free labour of unemployed and vunerable people.
These schemes create unemployment by converting paid work into unpaid work.
Furthermore to force someone into a slave labour scheme is unaccepable in this day and age,we are in 2013.
We should demand jobs.

author by ciarapublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:44Report this post to the editors

my email is [removed by moderator to protect you!] - if you want to email me, we can discuss further there. I'll be on later this evening, and possibly take it further than this by organising meeting points through advertising in newspapers,newsletters and online forums.

author by fredpublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 19:20Report this post to the editors

its ok. I got your email before it was removed. will be in touch.

author by fredpublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 19:30Report this post to the editors

What you said was one way to approach things. A fairly standard way.
Lots of signs and shouting etc. then we all go home, thinking we changed something.
Another variation on Orwells two minute hate if you will.
But such approaches are easily ignored / spun to look foolish by media.
I have engaged many times in such protests, to little effect.
I favour a different approach.

There are 450,000 unemployed. That's a hell of a voting block!
I think the key is to mobilise them as such, to vote together.

If we could somehow, like in a trade union, get them to work together then that is real power.

author by ciarapublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 20:23Report this post to the editors

Well no i wasnt thinking it would be soley protest orientated,we could get free legal advice people as speakers,and possibly someone like richie boyd barrett to show up to the room we rent for the day and ring the press - so they know what we are all about.

We could say admission is free and if we get our numbers right we could have a 5 euro yearly membership fee (which would be optional for the unemployed as we know they are not flush with disposable cash).

What we would need is a treasurer to look after the money in a honest open manner,every and any member would be entitled to look at the books at any time.

The money would go on buses up to dublin(a yearly event),and renting rooms for meetings (a seasonal event).

That would be the aim and a secretary would take the minutes of the meeting,and all this would be discussed at the meeting,flyers would be handed out to put up all over the reigion(s).

What i would want is civil rights for the unemployed - to not just be pushed about and forced into free labour schemes for the benefit of subsidising big businesses its akin to slave labour,if thats their attitude why dont they outsource to china?

What the unemployed should expect is an actual jobs market stimulation,not these job scam schemes that abuse the most vunerable of our community.

Government pay needs to be performance related - if they are not doing their job their pay should decrease in accordance with what they have or have not acheived for the public.

No bonuses either. Especially in this recession.

I would raise this issue also.

I don't know your situation fully,but im sure you are frustrated if you have turned up to these protests to no avail.

I probably would feel frustrated too if that was the case. But something needs to be done,maybe we are not looking at it from the right angle.

Maybe a start to this would be to set up an online forum for the unemployed,if we are to try to tap the 450,000 to mobilise them.

author by fredpublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 21:58Report this post to the editors

some good ideas there ciara. We definitely need someone like RBB on board to give legitimacy and highlight this so it does not remain in obscurity. The key leverage we would have is that we, as a block, threaten to boycott FF/FG/Lab and undertake to support left alternate parties by voting in unison, if our demands are ignored.

A kind of a whip system for the disenfranchised. :-)

We also need to remember that many unemployed can't afford regular internet and a computer, or don't have skills in that area though. To be effective, we need to be as inclusive as possible.

I think clicktivism is not to be encouraged. To be effective we need "meat on the street"
But we should certainly make full use the internet to organise.

I don't recommend solely using facebook or other corporate sites. Too easily shut down.

We probably need our own domain and website. People could log on there to be informed of the issues, select the issues they care about and make binding agreements to vote en bloc against mainstream parties if attacks on the unemployed are not tempered with fairness.

Perhaps indymedia might have some ideas and could offer assistance? :-)

author by ciarapublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 22:42Report this post to the editors

What really annoys me is the unemployed are attacked on all sides,and its not tempered with fairness.

I was listening to pat kenny earlier on in the day and he basically insinuated all welfare recipients were scroungers that needed to be dealt with.

I emailed the pat kenny show but my comment was not read out only negative comments about welfare recipients were read out,and pat kenny gave joan burton an easy time,and we all know pat can get nasty but he went easy on joan..

The unemployed as we all know are the poorest and most vunerable of our community they do not need to be attacked,they need to be understood and helped.

I view enda kenny's comments with absolute contempt,he said the unemployed should 'get off the couch',...To what jobs exactly?Job bridge ''jobs''..?

Enda kenny also said that 'nothing is for free in ireland',basically he is legitimising free labour schemes by making them mandatory or your dole slashed.This is not a democracy we live in.

The People have no choice. The unemployed will be forced to do these free labour schemes.

I have looked at the fas website and job bridge,i have come to the realisation that most of the jobs occupied by free labour - could have been paying jobs - it really makes me sick with anger.

Getting back to what you were saying,we could definately do with some assistance from indymedia,we need some sort of way of reaching out to the unemployed not just online but on the street i agree.

What we have to offer is voting power to the left socialists and if we get to that understanding and can get them on board all the better,i know RBB is not in favour of job-bridge and thats our starting point with him and his ilk.

We could go down the path of flyers,adverts in papers and newsletters,papers that most unemployed would view would be the local regional papers that are for free,or a small fee.

We need to start advertisting in those and drawing up a basic plan of what we stand for,are we an unemployment union a civil rights movement etc?How are we going to get people who are unemployed interested in us,and not just interested but confident in what we stand for..

Do email me if you can, some of your thoughts and ideas on this (and how we can get off the ground)and hopefully we will see them into fruition we cannot just sit there and take this any longer.

I will be on tommorrow after 4pm as i have some work to get done first.

Keep brainstorming..

author by fredpublication date Fri Jul 19, 2013 23:34Report this post to the editors

good post ciara. I agree with most of what you said.

The media and the establishment collude in pushing their ideological policies, designed to dismantle social safety nets. Pat Kenny plays his part well

It's all part of a race to the bottom which serves big business.

And they can attack and scapegoat the unemployed at their leisure because they are not organised and as such are easy targets.

Lets change that. We could work to form a union as we have discussed, and/or even a political party to voice the interests of the unemployed. Such a party would certainly get some votes! There are 450,000 unemployed and a LOT of disillusioned voters who are still afraid of the hard left because of the propaganda from the right in the media.

A meeting is needed to flesh out some ideas and create some concrete action items.

author by ciarapublication date Sat Jul 20, 2013 17:23Report this post to the editors

I sent an email to your address.. But i'll copy and paste it here if you haven't read it in your email..

'For setting this up as a political movement,we need to start reading this from the citizens information centre,or drop in and chat to one of the volunteers at the centre.
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_irel....html

I agree we do need to meet up and hammer out ideas,a manifesto of our verbal aims/intentions would be a pretty good idea.I would definately be interested.

I would not be able to go this month though probably august before the 27th if possible as i am doing a legal studies course then.I will keep in contact though.
Anyway,I think to have some bit of esablishment of ideas,and what we are about will send a clear message out to anybody that decides to turn up to the meeting.

We need to decide are we a union or a political party movement,i think a political party would be a huge project to undertake,and we would need other people willing to put in hours of dedication,the same with a union,if we manage to get a room full of people we are on our way to putting our finger on the pulse(not just come at it from the job bridge angle,but offer real solutions,and such as demanding a real job service that provide a real stepping stone to actual paid work) and we can bounce ideas off them and vice versa,we need this to be all inclusive.

I think our first step to get moving lies in getting as many people as we can to sit down and listen to what we have to say,how are we going to get the message across,what will our heading be when we advertise in local papers and newsletters,flyers on shop windows..
If we are to rent a room we should get one with a microphone and some whiteboard and maybe a projector so we can bring our own papers and project them on to the whiteboard,then maybe write down some key suggestions,and points.Some coffees and teas could be brought to the venue if they cost extra,obviously we will be looking for a competititve deal on a room hopefully in a central area.

On the issue of flyers and adverts..Maybe a good heading could be..(This is just an example if you have a better suggestion im all ears)..

Unemployed?Don't have a voice?Feel nobody is representing you?Come to our meeting..Admission is free.

There are other ways to advertise as well maybe we could set up a youtube page,and advertise on other forums such as indymedia,etc..

If there is another website that would garner a lot more attention i would be interested in hearing about it.

Just to let you know im from the clare area and if possible we could meet in limerick maybe,we will stick to a central area, maybe a pub or coffee shop in the middle of the city.I will bring my pen and note pad and take some notes!!'

author by fredpublication date Sun Jul 21, 2013 02:24Report this post to the editors

ok great. I'll get my thinking cap on and get back to you when I have a few decent ideas. :-)

author by garypublication date Tue Jul 23, 2013 13:58Report this post to the editors

There are more than five ''employment supports'' schemes in ireland busy displacing jobs and suckering jobs out of ireland, and according to welfare there is:
1. solas
2. tus.
3 wpp 1 (work placement programme)
4. wpp2
5.community services programme cps
6.revenue job assist
7.job initiative scheme
8. rural social scheme
9.community employment scheme(ce scheme fas)
10. job bridge

In 2006 there were 800 quangos,a lot of them left untouched since fine gael and labour stepped into power..

author by JoeMcpublication date Sun Jul 28, 2013 15:21Report this post to the editors

The IT article about the ad for a JobBridge primary school teacher in Westmeath appeared the same day as the INTO offices shut down for its annual holiday . Happy coincidence !

“Head Office will close for annual holidays at 5pm on Friday, 26th July and will re-open at 9am on Monday, 12th August.”

This from INTO's website is the union's 2011 “not recommending JobBridge to primary teachers” press release .

JOBBRIDGE TO PRIMARY TEACHERS 18/11/11
INTO NOT RECOMMENDING JOBBRIDGE TO PRIMARY TEACHERS
Friday, 18 November 2011
Press Statement Sheila Nunan General Secretary Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
INTO not recommending JobBridge to primary teachers
The primary teachers union the INTO has refused to endorse the JobBridge scheme extended to teaching graduates today by the Department of Education and Skills.
The union described the scheme as exploitative and no substitute for paid work. A spokesperson said it would not be viable for most teachers seeking employment and that paid substitute work or paid fixed term work was the best way for teachers to gain experience.
“Recently qualified graduates who have yet to get regular work should be extremely cautious about joining such a scheme,” said the spokesperson. “A teacher signing on for such a scheme could be risking the opportunity to get paid work that arises as the school year progresses.”
The union accused the government of exploiting the vulnerability of recently qualified teachers and spreading deliberate misinformation about probation.
“Teachers do not need probation to take up jobs,” said the INTO. “They get jobs and then do their probationary period.”
Teachers are also being told that they need their probation to get a job abroad. This is not true.
At present, teachers need a twenty week period of probation in the classroom in order to be fully registered with the Teaching Council.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Sun Jul 28, 2013 15:45Report this post to the editors

Most informative postings.

It is essential for people looking for work especially if they are unemployed and thinking about acting as an Intern to beware of the vested interests. Exploitation is not acceptable.

FAS in transition to Solus to date cannot be said to be a honey jar encouraging people to get work. I recommend that people looking for work to check out Activelink on google.

Comyn

author by ciarapublication date Sun Jul 28, 2013 18:24Report this post to the editors

As we all know there is bullying and exploitation that seems to naturally go hand in hand on these job bridge job type schemes..

And,It seems clear to me that there is a distinct culture of bullying in ireland and it lies with the top brass,namely the labour party,in our government..

As we all know Joan burton minister for social ''protection'' is part of the labour party,and possibly complicit in the obvious culture of bullying that is present in this irish political self serving party..

What i find most shocking is the root reason as to why Ms Childers was bullied,she was not in favour of the newly appointed department of finance secretary who oversaw the last econmoic crash in the same position?!?!

''When she refused to support the Government's nomination of former Department of Finance Secretary General Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors.''

"In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Independent, Ms Childers also accused Tanaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore of speaking about her in an "unseemly" fashion and being "very offensive" toward her, both before and since her resignation.
She claimed that she simply no longer supported the party's policies.

Dismissed this weekend by Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte as a mere "pavilion member" of the party, Ms Childers said she was subjected to repeated and sustained bullying by senior Labour Party figures, operating with the knowledge and consent of Mr Gilmore.

"I left because I could no longer agree with the policies but also because I was bullied by senior Labour figures.

"There was overt bullying. I was roared at, shouted at," she said. "It was inappropriate and disturbing. They don't behave the way that normal people do."

Ms Childers said that the trouble started in late 2011 when she refused to support the Government's nomination of former Department of Finance Secretary General Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors.

She criticised the nomination of Mr Cardiff on the basis that he had been in charge of the department's banking unit when the financial crisis hit.''

Read here: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/childers-....html

author by Hibernian Scribe - Freelancepublication date Mon Jul 29, 2013 08:56Report this post to the editors

Do State Agencies and Companies engage in Jobridge in order to recruit staff at little cost? FOI will reveal all.

author by Robin Hood - JobBridgepublication date Mon Jul 29, 2013 16:39Report this post to the editors

If Enterprise Ireland is a state company; yes it definitely employs interns. It is about massaging of numbers of unemployed while tapping best quality talent from our universities and Smurfit Business and other MBA programmes. Surely, the education and the cost of same to the Irish taxpayers of this coterie of academic elites makes it worth more than Social Protection asking them to work for their 'dole' and adding in 50 euros bonus money. This country is crying out for entrepreneurs. It would be preferable for these graduates to travel abroad rather than doing intern jobs in our state sponsored bodies in the public sector culture that is flawed.

If people had access to computers in a job oriented equivalent to a FAS office that worked and with inspirational directors Activelink, as recommended in previous posting, is the source to find work. Thanks for the link. We need to create work and create entrepreneurs. Indymedia is a grassroots source of citizen journalism that allows people to write and share news based on a volunteer basis. BBC Click is worth googling. The idea is an extension of the Men's Sheds here in Ireland. Camden Community London computer geeks have designated a location. It's called Repair Projects. Instead of constantly upgrading technology, cameras, computers, mobiles, you can learn how to repair your broken equipment in a hands on environment. It's time to tackle waste and instead of consigning to landfill, the aim is repair, recycle. This provides common sense training. This is the way to create entrepreneurs at grassroots. The French, the Italian are recognising that they have lost their home grown manufacturing/textile industry to the Far East; the skill sets are gone, their young people are unemployed. People are better off engaged so there are policy changes back to a more self-sufficient approach.

Ciara: Bullying is unacceptable; it is linked to the culture of cronyism that is presently destroying Ireland's competitiveness. Nessa Childers trained as a psychotherapist (think) so she is best qualified to identify what culture pervades with her colleagues and if she chooses to step down from the Labour Party, then the people of Ireland need to start asking some questions.

Robin Hood is back both in America, Europe and the UK. The polarisation that exists between those who have and those who have not is out of synch. In Ireland, they say close the senate and save so much. Is this a Troika way of telling Ireland Inc to clean the high cost of governance and the multi-dipping in pensions that is costing the ordinary taxpayer and citizen in Ireland unprecedented costs going forward. Take the last government and add up all their pensions and take their average age in their fifties. Actuarial calculations 30 years ago did not allow for people living as long receiving from their pension funds as they contributed into them. We need to start clipping public expenditure now. The trade unions are not doing their job, they fail to represent the interests of those who are unemployed ie those in excess of 500,000 in a population of 4 million+

People at grassroots need to get involved; the apathy will destroy the potential and the potential exists. Sunday Times article by Constantin Gurdgiev will help focus you if you are really interested in tackling the reasons behind the unemployment crisis.

author by ciarapublication date Mon Jul 29, 2013 18:44Report this post to the editors

Ive been on these job schemes and have seen bullying and intimidation (and people lose their jobs,having been replaced by free labour staff) on the two schemes and internship i was on etc,daily threats were made to other staff and myself that they would be fired if such and such a task was not carried out at a certain timeframe,to do other paid staff jobs when they were on sickies etc,i was asked to climb a ladder on a two story building and clean the top windows of the second floor,i didn't as i was not a professional window cleaner and i advised they should employ one.

It was completey unacceptable,obviously i reported it,but nothing really came of it, like a lot of other people who complained with me on the ce staff they got the same generic letter,saying it was not within their remit etc.
On our breaks we showed the letters we got from FAS to each other and they were exact photocopies bar the name addressed at the top! I managed to ask for a transfer to finish my scheme out.
The manager of the fas scheme in my region transferred me to another fas ce scheme in a chairty shop,for the last few months,it just got worse from there,it was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire tbh.

On the other scheme i was on i was being over watched for any mistakes i might or might not have made,i was belittled and my work was routinely undermined in front of other staff,i was shouted at on the shop floor where other customers were shopping in a charity shop.That was the last straw to me.

I was dealing with a supervisor on a power trip,and i seen him loose the cool with other staff when he did eventually happen to be around,most of the time he wasnt he was busy swanning around town picking up bits for himself or eating out in restaurants i was told by other staff,they just put up with it,he was never there to give direction on pricing and item allocation but would come back lose his hair and say what were were doing (left to our own devices) was wrong and would have us change the shop around and alter the prices,when customers already seen the prices,it was like a sinking ship that charity shop , im surprised it didnt shut down,anyway in the end i think i was the only one of the few out of the lot to complain him,and of course nothing was done about it.
Nobody seemed bothered.

I went on an internship with job bridge for a local company in the industrial estate in an office.
The internship was the same thing,i was being over watched,undermined,snide comments made and told to do other peoples work and make the tea for the rest of the staff when i was finished my tasks.I wasn't even treated like a human being.I was given verbal and written warnings at the drop of a hat,i was excessively called into meetings to see and ''re-evaluate'' my progress, i was grilled over the smallest of tasks,and basically told in so many words i was useless.I couldn't possibly stomach any more of this nonsense and in the end i complained,i made sure i didnt bother with a letter and opted for a face to face meet up,in the end,they listened with a sympathetic ear,but did sweet fuck all about it,just moved me on to another internship for the last four months out of my nine months and left it at that.

I can't help but think this was hardly just a run of bad luck or just a set of bad coincidences that on all the job schemes i was on for the duration of two years in total that they were badly managed and bullying seem to play a key role in those enviornments.
I never encountered bullying in any paid job i had managed to take up,and couldn't understand why i was being singled out by these slave drivers.All i encountered on these schemes(it was not a welcoming employer)was hostility from the start.

Im now applying to be a student of law and im starting my course on the 27th of august,and im doing volunteer work at an animal shelter(its not job bridge or fas just old fashioned volunteer work and im glad of it).

The whole system is rotten to the core,we currently spend 13 billion in total on these quangos that badly need to be shut down.

Fine Gael and Labour are displacing jobs and creating unemployment.

People are emigrating as they realise there is no job creation,and jobs that could be paid jobs are now being occupied by free labour schemes,suckering jobs away from them.

They serve no purpose for the public and are not fit for any purpose other than suckering jobs away from people and displacing existing jobs.

author by Comyn - JobBridge FAS scandals publication date Tue Jul 30, 2013 16:42Report this post to the editors

Ciara a powerful piece of writing that is an indictment on the FAS services who ought to be upskilling people who cannot get work. They have dawdled for years now wasting valuable time of people who need employment, occupation, and education. The FAS culture is embedded with cronyism and corruption both of a financial and a moral nature. Senator Shane Ross tackled FAS head-office hands-on nearly five years ago, and yet we still await the services that engage the unemployed with the opportunities to gain work or an education.

Solus is the new entity that Minister Joan Burton is promoting. The bullying culture must stop is the message to be gleaned from this site.

For people who are presently out of work, it is August and Leaving Cert results are due shortly. The prospects of work are minimal so a good benchmark could be to look at back to education. Check out the following:- Activelink for more practical short courses; Aontas - life long learning; the HEA - Higher education authority; INOU - for the unemployed; Springboard. Take for example the following and consider back to education especially now before the beginning of the academic year.

Springboard-free courses for the unemployed

....."Springboard offers a choice of 220 free, part-time courses in higher education from certificate, to degree, to post-graduate level.

6,000 new places have been made available for unemployed people as part of this further roll out of the Springboard initiative. 36 institutes of technology, universities and privately-run higher education colleges around the country are offering Springboard courses. These courses are in the expanding enterprise areas:- ICT, medical devices, the green economy, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, and international financial services.

Programmes are also available in cutting edge cross-enterprise skills such as Six Sigma, lean and quality systems, international selling, languages, business start-up and entrepreneurship skills.

A number of changes to Springboard 2012 are also being introduced in response to feedback on last year's first phase of Springboard.

•The eligibility criteria have been expanded to include people who were previously self-employed and people in receipt of an extended number of social welfare payments such as the Disability Allowance and the Carer's Allowance.

•A Freephone Guidance line 1800 303523 is also being put in place to assist people with course choices and applications. The HEA-funded Freephone line is being hosted in the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed

Visit www.springboardcourses.ie for more information.

6,000 places when written about in the media indicates the Government are making great provisions for the unemployed but when numbers of unemployed are reaching 500,000 with a large number of our young potential workers both graduates and skilled are leaving Ireland, we need to know what we want and that is we want more options provided and proper FAS in transition to Solus courses to be properly run without any culture of bullying and a fair provision for upskilling so that Ireland can tag along with America and encourage people to move into the role of being entrepreneurs without having to necessarily work for a company or in the public sector.

Treat them mean to keep them lean ought to be the motto the unemployed should use about Government and public sector and for that matter the trade unions especially Siptu. Imagine their efforts are a history of the 1913 lockout hanging from the 17 floors of their office building. It is time to get real about the unemployment exists today.

author by JoeMcIvorpublication date Fri Aug 02, 2013 17:10Report this post to the editors

I mentioned earlier in this thread a “new modern version” of the Workhouse System being suggested on Politics .ie last year . Serious thought has gone into planning for a return to residential training for the long term unemployed . To get people off the live register and accept working on slave labour schemes, unemployed people will eventually have to be threatened with something much worse than poverty.

“Residential Training is intended to help unemployed adults with disabilities, particularly those at risk of exclusion from the job market, to secure and sustain employment or self employment"
http://jaynelinney.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/a-tory-plan...ouse/

The economy is bust - the money to pay for pensions, social welfare, mental healthcare etc has gone to service the gambling debts of the bankers , so, for Ireland as much as for Britain , it will have to be something like the workhouse for the long term unemployed , the sick and the elderly . People will be given the choice of either going on a slave labour scheme or going into “residential care” or else something in between according to this report on UK plans for expansion of "residential workfare".

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/report-calls...ople/

author by davepublication date Fri Aug 02, 2013 17:37Report this post to the editors

Ive seen the disabled exploited on these schemes,this isnt the way forward - all these ''job'' schemes do is create unemployment.

Think about it what employer is going to turn around and say i think i will pay for these workers,when they can get them for free off these free labour schemes.

Shut the quangos down! Save billions! And create real jobs..!

author by JoeMcIvorpublication date Sat Aug 03, 2013 14:34Report this post to the editors

Opponents of slave labour in Ireland should take a careful look at the UK Residential Training Provision – Independent Advisory Panel Report published last month by the UK government. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/at...t.pdf
The panel had been set up in 2012 by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and was chaired by Kate Nash OBE , who is described in the report as "a freelance diversity consultant with 20 years experience in working strategically to effect long-term attitudinal and major social systems change in relation to disabled people”. Nash’s consultancy company , Kate Nash Associates, describes Nash as “a human rights activist for more than 20 years. She's kind of interesting though in that she's not a scary activist.”
http://www.katenashassociates.com/about-us/kate-nash

The report addresses concerns over the high costs per participant of Residential Training to date by urging the DWP to “make the transition to alternative funding sources” emphasizing the role of private companies to work in the proposed “Residential Colleges” alongside and in conjunction with charities that presently run residential courses for the mentally and physically handicapped ,the deaf and visually impaired . The report states that the advantage of residential training for dealing with the long-term unemployed lies in RT’s “holistic and intense nature” which “ impacts every area of their life”. The panel recommends that DWP should extend RT , which is currently applied only to the “disabled unemployed” so as to take in “some long term unemployed non disabled people who would specifically benefit from the intensity of provision and holistic approach that residential training can provide.”

The only three case studies annexed to the panel’s report give an indication of the type of disabled participant Residential Training aims to “help” .

Case study 1 : depression and an opiate addiction led to long-term unemployment.

Case Study 2 is 21 years old and has been diagnosed with Scoliosis, Asthma, Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and Depression severe mental health issues, alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment.

Case study 3 severe mental health issues, alcohol
abuse and long-term unemployment.

see:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/at...t.pdf

author by davepublication date Sat Aug 03, 2013 20:54Report this post to the editors

That is all very well having training schemes that cost billions for the disabled but what i want to know does all this training and billions being spent on it - really get them back to work full time.

Or is it just a day out for them if you will.?

My point is where does all this ''job training'' initiatives lead to.Is it full time employment - or just use you up throw you out back on the dole scenario.?

Real questions need to be asked,is it another quango used to bolster up the wages of those creaming off the top at executive level with no real employment prospects for those who should be the centre priority - the unemployed.

author by welfarianpublication date Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:25Report this post to the editors

Even when you are clearly disabled and incapable of work, the unnecessary bureaucratic harassment continues in order to get you off the live register at all costs and to demonstrate that if you are poor and apply for welfare, you will always be humiliated and harassed by the state bureaucracy.

There are no actual jobs to go to.

All this nonsense is just about massaging the figures, harassing those on welfare unnecessarily and providing a few high paid bureaucratic jobs for good party apparatchiks

author by davepublication date Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:54Report this post to the editors

What's worse about the disabled and those with limited physical capacity due to past injuries is if they cannot or refuse to participate for whatever reason(being disabled),they will have their welfare cut or even stopped.

Imagine being disabled or being someone with limited physical capacity and having your welfare cut or stopped.?

This is a vicious uncaring way to treat these people,people who need patience and understanding just like any other unemployed person.

The unemployed need real job prospects not free labour scams creating unemployment wherever they go.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Tue Aug 06, 2013 16:26Report this post to the editors

The Anglo tapes scandal, the conversations, the joke about the anthem and the skit at the Germans.

There are opportunities out there for back to education and it is essential for people who are presently unemployed to form networks to keep each informed about job or study opportunities as they arise by citizen journalism, twitter, social media. Sign up with Activelink which is firmly grounded in networking for years now. See if Indymedia and their connection with SPRAOI can encourage people to network to gain employment or education and similar to the Open University, it might be possible to meet every so often and brain storm. The criteria would be caring to share. Networking like the old schoolboys group; Opus Dei, GAA et al works for certain elites so why not piggy back and develop a system for those who want work, who want to return to education. Shamefully the trade unions unlike in the 1913 Lockout fail to provide hubs of inspiration to get people back to work or into entrepreneurship. They sit on their hands while their millions (Siptu 30+ million euros) earn paltry amounts of interest. The truth is that the cartel of unions were consumed by the Tiger greed and have forgotten the hunger of their members - the 450,000+ unemployed; the massaged numbers on FAS courses and then the numbers we don't know - the emigrants.

Check out the Restart Project (ClickBBC). The greening of technology through rehabilitation is but another concent of the Shed project that works so very well for men who are unemployed or under employed here in Ireland.

The Springboard is the message for today. Why? Because DCU are presently looking for people to enrol. If the Mr Bowe of Anglo fame was eligible for a place and proved a quiet and dedicated student then people who are unemployed should be challenged to take a detour from unemployment via back to education while Government are willing to pay for same. Ask what questions did the interviewers at DCU ask? Did Mr Bowe reveal he was a casualty of Anglo? If he did, then ask if DCU researchers were interested in what he had to contribute? No matter what -the man decided to go forward - if he could not gain employment, he chose to educate himself further to make himself ultimately employable. This is the spirit needed now so that people can urge the Troika to consider an equitable write-down of the debts that we cannot afford to repay. 80 to 100 years is a savage attack of borrowing debts to a country that will celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising in just over two years.

Twitter people like Brian Lucey; Constantin Gurdgiev; Vincent Browne etc and follow the trends. Being informed is essential.

Comyn

author by Champage fan: Blue Nun Pay-packetpublication date Sun Aug 18, 2013 17:11Report this post to the editors


Yes Enterprise Ireland employs people from the Jobbridge scheme, cos I worked there with the IT Department as a jobbridge participant.
It also takes students from DCU on their 03rd year to sign up to various roles for fuck all money and getting them to add their signatures to projects that full-time workers in enterprise ireland wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

Normal conversation to be heard on the floor here:

“Btw, where’s that ugly bollix of a manager of mine, he’s supposed to interview the new intern to take over audit checks on these payments to clients?”
“Ah he’s just fucked off for a three-hour lunch to the Yacht bar with the other managers and on that intern’s taxes too for a good auld piss-up.”
“Ah that’s good, the fate of the young people is in safe hands. C’mere do you think that resembles a real bank statement for proof of payment or is it a photoshop job…”
“How should I know? I’m just another intern. Sure just sign off on it anyway, you’ll be gone in 6 months and the company belongs to one of his mates.”

Gotta love jobbridge. Feels so good to be part of a dignified work force.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Mon Aug 19, 2013 16:36Report this post to the editors

The previous posting confirms what a lot of people suspect is the culture permeating our political, social and economic identity and it needs now to be tackled and called near evil and pernicious.

Stop now the canker, the rot that is destroying any foundations that may be rescued post Celtic Tiger down-turn. Merkel and Germany have the power; but we too have our own. Kevin Myers article in the Sunday Times states some hardcore truths that we need to examine and now is the time.

There are harsh realities that we need to face up to and the foregoing postings highlight practices from state sponsored entities that have created a category of people known as the 'entitled classes' who have lost connection with basic humane guidelines, principles and for that matter even the necessary cogniscience of what the Rule of Law actually means.

Myers highlights the over-emphasis of self praise we bestow on our elites who fall into that privileged category of 0.01% grades in Leaving Certificate examinations. There are so many more of us who fall into the category of "failure". He quite rightly suggests that those who soil your hands through work in Ireland are deemed not respectable. This is not the case in our mentor ally Germany. Quite rightly Myers states that they revere the engineer - the title of DiplIng-diploma in engineering - 'stands at the apex of a pyramid of skilled tradesmen who embody the virtues of their craft; honesty, integrity, skill, thrift, relaiability and most of all, punctuality. These are the guild qualities tht transformed the hierarchial servitude of feudalism into a society of free and proud men".

What culture have we embraced in Ireland? Does anyone hold with the view that Ireland is about the tradesmen being tardy, unreliable, telling lies? The culture of lies facilitated now by technology and the mobile have rendered a culture of wasters who basically have neither respect for themselves for for that matter fellow human beings. We consistently 'blame' others; we blame the Troika, we blame the bankers, the developers, the global markets but we must surely now look to some self analysis.

JobBridge, FAS, Activelink, Springboard, HEA, - whatever. Respect, learning, education should be emblems of what one generation passes on to another. Honour, morality, codes of conduct, craftmanship, using the hands as well as using the brain and deleting the 'destroyers' cheating, blaming, tardiness, dis-respect, avoiding responsibilities and this includes those "strageic defaulters" is an essential step forward, that we now must decide to pursue.

author by Comyn - Education if unemployedpublication date Mon Sep 02, 2013 15:52Report this post to the editors

The intern programme merits much discussion but now that the Leaving Cert results are out and people have been offered places in our universities, there are opportunities for people to return to education. Apparently the number of applications to universities is down. Add to this that those choosing to study either side of the border are also significantly down on previous years (as few as 1%) it means now is the time to make enquiries.

There are free college places for the unemployed according to today's Irish Independent.

The National College of Ireland is now offering a limited number of free fee places via the Springboard higher education initiative for unemployed people and the Momentum Programme. The assumption being, that other colleges are offering similar.

The National College of Ireland programmes are international recognised and are part of the National Framework of Qualifications. The key point is that they are free of charge to unemployed people who fulfill certain criteria. This avenue is about up-skilling and they include work placements. There is an advisory serivice to help people re-enter the workforce.

Check it out: Experience the Irish Financial Services Centre campus on Thursday 5th September 2-5 pm.

Education is a pathway to potential while unemployment destroys the soul especially with so many unemployed presently (450,000+) and some 300,000 emigrants. There is a distinct advantage to further education, if forced to emigrate. 1950's Ireland emigrants were mainly labourers; the situation improved in the 1980's based on the higher level of education of those forced to emigrate or for that matter, those who chose to.

Courses offered:

MSc in web technologies
Higher diploma in science and computing (software development)
Higher diploma in science and data analytics
Certificate in digital marketing

It is important to act now or else you may spend the year being 'exploited'. The earlier posting give clear views of peoples' experience of what they refer to as 'Scambridge'.

Opportunities can pass you by all too easily and especially in today's present economic down-turn.

author by Agry FAS employee - FASpublication date Thu Sep 12, 2013 15:21Report this post to the editors

Your poorly worded heading to this article, seems to imply that FAS s well as the government have somehow set out to remove paid jobs and replace them with the jobs bridge scheme. This is a bald lie! FAS is tasked by the government with delivering a host of programs, paid and unpaid to the unemployed. As public servants we are not consulted on which programs we believe are fair and worthwhile and which are not. We are simply tasked with implementing a particular policy in a way that has the best outcome for the people we are asked to help. In this situation there are two just targets of public ire, Employers who unscrupulously exploit the unemployed, and the government who thought up and extended this program. But how you can imagine its fair to blame FAS, for carrying out the job we were instructed to do, I can not imagine, why not blame the bin men for allowing the collection to be privatised and the refuse price rise! or blame CIE workers for fare increases, or ESB workers for carbon tax!!! Need I go on.

Please show better judgement and research your facts next time. (Shop Steward and Union Activist)

author by gravy trainpublication date Thu Sep 12, 2013 17:29Report this post to the editors

so what you are saying, angryfas is that "you are only following orders" Ya?

I certainly wish I had your cushy job with guaranteed state pension instead of my shitty scambridge slave labour job for 50 euro per week.

No wonder you are happy to do every shitty immoral thing your masters tell you to. And yeah, it's always someone else's fault with government agencies, banks and TD's isn't it? No fucking personal responsibility ever expected.

Hope you and all the other FAS minions implementing these "orders" can sleep at night.
I'm sure you all sleep like babies in your soft beds, while folks like myself sleep in damp bedsits which is all our payments cover.

author by Hugh Murphy - Sackedbymyunion - ITGWUpublication date Thu Sep 12, 2013 18:19Report this post to the editors

The workers of Ireland need a REAL TRADE UNION, not the mealy mouthed well paid in SIPTU, whose only objective is to suck their way up the employers ladder, but one that will stand up to exploiting employers. DO THE PEOPLE CELEBRATING THE LOCKOUT KNOW -THAT, UPON HIS RETURN FROM AMERICA, THE THEN ITGWU LEADERSHIP SACKED JIM LARKIN FROM THE UNION HE FOUNDED - FOR BEING TOO MILITANT.

This Right Wing thinking has continued in the Union with the rise of union officials salaries, which they though made them EQUAL to the employers. This Traitorous thinking led to the Union at Belfast Docks JOINING with the employers to persecuted and sack Union Members. The documentary proof of this is on www.siptupresidentjackoconnorexposed.com

Zero hours and Internships will continue, until the Right Wing in SIPTU are confronted with union members who will no longer allow them to take members dues and disregard the way ordinary people are being treated.

author by Agry FAS employee - FASpublication date Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:52Report this post to the editors

In reply to the mindless rant from 'by gravy train' it does not surprise me you are unemployed, you seem to have failed to grasp a basic principle that governs most peoples employment. Which is, that you are kept in your place as long as you do what you are paid to do, and not a moment longer. I will not even begin to rip to pieces that clap trap and nonsense you have put out here as your 'views', as it is obvious to anyone you are deluded, who else would draw a parallel between a state agency like FAS and Nazi Germany! But I will say this, you and people like you are why this country is where it is, not people like myself who were working in a thankless job throughout the so called 'Celtic Tiger' years and being paid modestly for it. I like many of my colleagues were offered better paid employment, on many occasions, serious offers from major company's like Microsoft. I and they declined. So while you and more like you, drove our economy to he brink, with get rich quick schemes and cheap money for mortgages you could not afford. I am my colleagues took much less that was on offer and bought 1 house (a home to live in) and took 1 holiday (to afford that mortgage). I make apologises to no one for that, after 32 years in employment (20 in the private sector) I believe I have earned it. I will say this, when you talk about FAS as you do, you show yourself to be ignorant of every fact, FAS trains tens of thousands of people each year. Our job is vital to that 20 to 30 percent of the population who want a fair chance. Not the people like you, 'gravy train' who want it easy.

As to my 'feather bed' well, I have had my 'modest pay' cut by 23% in real terms in the last 4 years.
I pay more tax now than when I was on full pay,
I pay for my children's special needs education,
I pay for my family's health care, (including the six months my wife was off with a broken shoulder).
I pay for public transport to get to work,
I pay approx 13% extra for the same pension (via the pension levy),
I pay for by refuses collection,
I pay my council tax, and I pay anything else the government can think of to throw on top. And how does the government use my money? Oh that's right they give it to you:
as Unemployment Assistance,
and rent allowance,
and free medial cards etc!

Oh and on top of that, I spend my working life, helping people like you get employment, I should I know be ashamed of myself!

Do yourself a favour, remember we are all struggling, don't in your stupidity drag the people who are keeping you afloat under with you.

Lastly

I have a drawer full of letters and testimonials from people thanking me for my help in getting them back to work, what have you done for the Unemployed? Socialists! All I hear from you is moaning about your own miserable lot, I thought socialist were supposed to think about others. By the way James Larkin knew working people had to get by, I reiterate my earlier point (which you ignored) , should working people have hated the Tram drivers because they were collecting the fares for the company!

author by gravy trainpublication date Mon Sep 16, 2013 23:26Report this post to the editors

"But I will say this, you and people like you are why this country is where it is, not people like myself who were working in a thankless job throughout the so called 'Celtic Tiger' years and being paid modestly for it. I like many of my colleagues were offered better paid employment, on many occasions, serious offers from major company's like Microsoft. I and they declined. So while you and more like you, drove our economy to he brink, with get rich quick schemes and cheap money for mortgages you could not afford"

WTF?? you arrogant overpaid asshole sucking off the state teat.

Your attitude and sense of entitlement typifies that of the self important privileged set in the public service.

I did not benefit at all from the celtic tiger. I did not take out a huge mortgage or engage in get rich quick schemes. I just watched prices rise and my euro buy less and less.

Nor did I benefit from benchmarking and a cushy job and a guaranteed pension doing SFA in a redundant state organisation rife with waste and excess cost to the taxpayer for little visible return.

Go fuck yourself you overpaid parasite!!

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Tue Sep 17, 2013 16:35Report this post to the editors

Maybe you are right! Paddling a canoe is onerous, arduous, laborious, and even boring but the promise of the public sector job to maintain your employment until retirement age and then pay you a pension is the gamble you chose to take, because you got your leaving certificate, the grades that the civil service requested and spoke the Native tongue Irish. You were one of the fortunate ones and gained entry to the public sector bureaucratic monster and its promise of a life-time fixity of tenure, the trade unions at your back, the benefits, yes, you were then the shrewd one to pass muster. You are no different to our many double-treble-quadruple dipping pension pot politicians that need now to surrender some of their privileges. The fact that you appear not to be one of civil service/FAS/HSE/public sector/governmental offices elite rising stars reflects on your attitude of self pity. Where were you when you saw the FAS/HSE etc elites flagrantly spend other peoples' monies providing no outcomes for ordinary people other than the egos of the new elites that Celtic Tiger Ireland created.

On the other hand take the corporates who use this country as a 'tax haven' for their double sandwiches or whatever language you wish to apply. These corporates have chosen another path. They blatantly say no to trade unions because these new breed of corporate employers pay above the odds in salaries, perks and benefits knowing that at a whim they can say to a loyal employee Go and Go now and never return. It is irrelevant that the employee may have been employed under the auspices of the Rehab concept of finding suitable work for people with intellectual disabilities. Their vulnerabilities are suitable when choosing to pay below the average wage but not when a petty misdemeanour becomes a sackable offence.

Angry I am when I hear of an abuse of power within the corporate entity of a big supermarket chain who do not have to provide balance sheet details in Ireland and who gain handsomely on a global scale from the tax benefits we provide that is Ireland, the Republic. Zero-hours is the new game in town for the retail sector and people who have had years of service working for companies like Clerys, Tescos, and others are finding themselves basically fired and forced into work in the new zero-hour mould with no basic human rights particularly for the older worker. Internships are facilitating these cut throat practices against committed workers who are now often drawing the dole.

Today we read in our newspapers that Tesco's have a new plan for stores. It is not the retail outlets away from town centres anymore but now it is let get's local. If this is their plan, let us hope that they will learn one important point and that is when you are focused local be it in towns or urban villages, people count and petty grievances between members of staff especially those in functional roles like security must be monitored to avoid 'abuse of power' to the degree that people who are full-time in employment can be fired without the proper representation for their rights as a human being.

To those who care about people, try asking about a member of staff who just disappears. You will find the staff are briefed on what they are allowed to say. Don't be afraid to be human and ask more is all I can say.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 16:21Report this post to the editors

Hugh quite rightly highlights what is happening to the more vulnerable of workers, particularly in the retail and services sector.

'Zero hours and Internships will continue, until the Right Wing in SIPTU are confronted with union members who will no longer allow them to take members dues and disregard the way ordinary people are being treated'.

Gemma O'Doherty, Investigative Reporter with the Irish Independent steps on the toes of those who have 'power' and what happens? She gets "fired". It fails to get the due attention it deserves in our bunkered media and it is Global Investigative Journalism that highlights this act of abuse of the power that contravenes the corporate social responsibility that employers should engender'. Gemma is high profile yet her cohorts, her colleagues have been shy to support her. Why?

Listening to a man from Mandate on Vincent Browne TV3 the other night creates a fear and uncertainty. He explained about how people in these more vulnerable sectors are being duped. I wish someone could explain to me the way the man-hours and supplementary benefit system works. It is something to do employers not giving people enough hours in a week so that they can't claim support from Social Welfare. As far as I can see the Trade Unions do deals with the employers who like in the case of Clerys and lets add Tescos, Starbucks and so many others, especially those who harbour under the favourable tax advantages in Ireland; those employers who strategically shift their workers from full-time employment (having worked for years for the company) to part-time so that they put in place Hire and Fire threats to often longstanding workers.

The Junior Doctors are paying the harsh price of an IMO union that failed to engage with the true corporate governance one would expect from people in the medical profession, those who are bound by the Hippocratic Oath 'to do no harm'. George McNeice receives no media coverage. Why? Nobody cares to question a man as chief executive of the IMO for nearly 20 years aged in his fifties with a negotiated deal of £9.7 million. The abuse of a position of power in the Union merits no attention. This deal was negotiated down from an amount of 24 m euros. It is easy to conclude that the interests of the junior doctors or for that matter the EU directive on the number of hours to be worked by junior doctors was of little concern to McNeice or his coterie of trade union people and the consultant led mob of the medical profession.

The Trade Unions take dues from the workers and have done for a decade, as cited in the case of the worker at Tescos. The question we must all ask ourselves is if we pay union dues surely it should be a fund that can be activated when people become unemployed to upskill for further employment. Siptu we are told have treasury holdings approaching 40 million e. Spend the money now, get people back to work but also make sure that employers are not exploiting their staff by moving them from full-time to part-time to firing them without any obligations to a persons basic rights while in employment.

author by Sarah - Observerpublication date Tue Oct 29, 2013 16:40Report this post to the editors

Where to next?

Hardly could apply to the junior doctors; but then if teachers are being selected for JobBridge then it is time for people to start asking questions. 9 months fits in fine for teacher who work September to June so a young teacher or for that matter a teacher returning to work has the opportunity to enhance their CV in the hope of getting a full-time position.

JobBridge is good for some but pure exploitation for others.

Earlier postings tell the experiences of those who have been exploited but if you are a teacher who takes up the JobBridge option, you can make no revelations about how you are treated. The code of omerta will apply because if you complain, your chance of getting a full-time post in this country is hampered.

Where is Intreo? or for that matter is it called Solas? Where are the courses for the people who are unemployed. What is this 'learning curve' website?

There is a total lack of clarity by both the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Education, the trade unions who have a function of seeking work, providing education, for their former members who are casualties of this recession for that matter, to keep people informed and involved in their game plan for a future based on secure employment.

author by Outsider - Unemployed & Equalitypublication date Wed Oct 30, 2013 16:13Report this post to the editors

Sarah

Martin Frawley (Irish Independent) reports re above today and by chance it clarifies some of the questions raised by you.

Jobs and Training was the FAS function. However, cronyism and excessive spending on entertainment, expenses, travel abroad for workers and spouses/partners garnered the attention of the media and the outcome is today FAS is finally officially dissolved. The replacement is the slimmed down version to be called Solas with a staff of 200 as disinct from FAS of old with in excess of 2,000 employees. Jobs lost though, are considerably less because 1,000 FAS employees have been transfered to the Department of Social Protection, while a further 800 instructors are to join the newly created education and training boards which were set up by Minister Ruairi Quinn in July 2013. All we can hope for is that the culture of waste and privilege engendered during the celtic tiger years is replaced with a sense of morality based on a simple what is right as distinct from what is blatantly wrong and there will be a new guiding light for education and training courses for the many people who are now unemployed. It is essential that there is clarity, that there is transparency and that there is a code of conduct both by those in receipt of education and training and those who are the tutors/teachers/mentors.

Solas, we are told will not be delivering the 'programmes' themselves. Their function is the delivery of further education and training. The question we need to ask is who will be delivering the programmes, will their be audits of their performance? Will there be attendance records taken? Will there be details of success rates as to who get jobs, not JobBridge, but real jobs? Will they encourage people to emigrate temporarily to gain work experience or opt for third level education? Keep asking the questions because during a recession with so many people unemployed it is essential to create economic growth through some form of economic activity. Hubs need to be created with the driving force of creativity to encourage work as opposed to being idle. Futility, worthlessness especially in young peoples' formative years must be avoided at all costs because research states that this can leave them exposed to health risks including mental health pre-disposition, and we must avoid this.

Solas staff are leaving the Upper Baggot Street head office and will be centrally located in Castleforbes House - New Year 2014 should see them up and running!

The importance of audits is that checks and balances can highlight when practices in companies become embedded in cronyism that parallels with corruption; it is this that we need to be alert to. The objective should be to foster a new culture in the existing workforce; the objective must be one of the pulling back from the brink hedonism that led us to this state of indebtedness. To take the example of FAS, the audit revealed the rot. The audit of the agency's corporate department in 2008, revealed that "640,000€ had been spent over 4 years sending senior management on trips abroad which included expenses for golf games and visits to beauty salons'.

FAS are not the only culprits. Check out the Siptu/HSE slush fund Matt Merrigan and O'Flynn; then there are the local county councils eg Longford and the councillor having the house refurbed and then sold to a group representing people with intellectual disabilities.

Cronyism is the introduction to creeping corruption. We have had plenty of time now to raise questions. The truth is there to set us free and move on.

author by Seoirsepublication date Wed Oct 30, 2013 23:10Report this post to the editors

That is a useful, informative post. I benefited in terms of training and work experience from FAS. This helped me to cope with a midlife financial and social crisis. I was naturally shocked with a feeling of betrayal when the scandal broke about 'expenses' by top people in the organisation. I hope the new Solus will not stick to Education & Training, but will embark on community work schemes that positively benefit local urban and rural communities. This entails more than cleaning up derelict churchyards and restoring tattered walls. Any building altered should serve a useful function in the field of recreation, training or entertainment. I can vouch from personal experience and observation that many community employment schemes sponsored by the dissolved FAS rescued families of unemployed individuals from despair and worse. Other FAS schemes were regarded as demeaning by unfortunate participants.

Good luck to whatever succeeds FAS - and be vigilant against the cronyist, lets-have-perks mentality among public servants.

author by Outsider - Unemployed and equalitypublication date Mon Nov 04, 2013 16:40Report this post to the editors

Seoirse

Thank you for the informative response. Many people have gained both socially and through employment in particular in community employment schemes and it is essential to highlight the point especially now as FAS is being closed down. It is also very important to recognise that FAS faltered through an elite group in management particularly who became side-tracked by a culture of waste of resources and personal engrandisement. As should always happen, this needs to be identified and we must congratulate Shane Ross (Independent - Dail) and a team of enlightened media people who targeted the head office and whose research has resulted in the closure but also the outing of those who abused their position of 'power' through cronyism and corruption.

The new challenge is Solus. 200 people are tasked with policy and empowerment to seek educational opportunities. I agree absolutely with you about the other side of education and that is the 'action, doing, creating' in the local community. ANCO was the origin of FAS and it tasked people who had achieved solid apprenticeships in certain trades like carpentry, plumbing, plastering, gardening into the teaching and imparting mentors to unemployed people during the last unemployment crisis in the 1980's. This in turn resulted in a healthy competition in towns, villages and in urban villages to move from the individualism to the shared community endeavours. Our tourist trail has benefited from the workmanship and input of many people especially those who worked in community employment schemes who were part of this FAS initiative.

Nearly 400,000 people are unemployed; the estimates are that 300,000 have emigrated, and others are in courses once operated by FAS and others.

The time is now to recognise that people are human but the human species is highly flawed; however 'flawed' must be recognised, punished, and replaced and now is the time for this to happen. Solus and the ETB's must embrace a new culture and it is essential that opportunities are provided to as many people as possible, people who are unemployed, to single mothers or fathers, people with disabilities, to young people, to older people to ensure that they have the opportunities to access education either of an academic nature or more importantly of craftsmanship and technology. There is new horizon in restart/repair and Ireland needs to tap into it via the education route.

To be positive we must look at the plans for our city which can be repeated in the smart sustainable urban villages and local country communities. Solus is nominated now to educate the people who will be the actors for the plans. The time is now for people to engage. The opportunities are highlighted in that public submissions are welcomed on proposal, which includes two new civic space

author by Seoirsepublication date Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:51Report this post to the editors

Well said, especially your constructive suggestions in the last two paragraphs. AnCO and FAS were visionary and practical in many ways, but their original social spirit was corrupted at the top. Let Solus do better. It's up to us and many deprived communities.

author by Quangos only help themselvespublication date Sun Nov 10, 2013 19:41Report this post to the editors

The only people who benefited on the FAS gravy train,were the FAS supervisors and middle managers,ordinary unpaid workers for FAS rarely got any benefit from ''FAS experience''..

It could be construed on a CV that the person in question is well a lazy worker who just feel into a FAS position,the view of people who work for FAS paid and unpaid is they are lazy and lack real motivation the ability to self start and self determination.

Whether that is right or wrong is another question completely. I can tell you from being on a FAS course and two unpaid FAS positions there was no job at the end for me,they just kept rehiring more new FAS workers when my stint was finished , i never got hired like i was promised by the manager of the company i was working for.

If that isnt job abuse i dont know what is.

Real questions here need to be asked!

author by Seoirsepublication date Sun Nov 10, 2013 23:24Report this post to the editors

I draw a line between FAS community employment schemes and the JobBridge unpaid "internships". I never worked in the latter schemes and know that some companies cynically use them as cheap/unpaid labour. The trades unions, not always on the side of the lowest paid, should take action against intern scamming.

Many local FAS community employment schemes enabled jobless people to do 19 hours (two-and-a-half days) per week of work for moderate pay that brought their weekly income about a quarter above the unemployment benefit level. In addition they could opt for training courses, often in the evenings, to enhance their CV skills. That's what I did. Some local FAS schemes were Great Wall of FAS operations like cleaning up derelict graveyards. Other schemes involved building community centres or skills training centres or working in arts-related ventures or in centres for the elderly and disabled. These were useful. Involvement in them benefited workers psychologically too.

The upper echelons of FAS in Dublin got away with lavish expenses junkets for many years. Administrators in many areas of the charity, training and arts scenes are well paid. That is an issue for investigation. The jobless at the bottom of Irish society meanwhile need job creation schemes to lift them out of depression.

author by allthef*ckensamepublication date Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:59Report this post to the editors

That is exactly the problem with irish society we settle for what we can get ,instead of demanding better,thats the problem exactly. Instead of getting off our arses and protesting demanding jobs for ireland ,we sit about and settle for job creation schemes,instead of real jobs.

Do you know ''job'' schemes like FAS and Jobbridge convert paid work into unpaid work?It robs what could have been a paid job from the community.

Tell me what employer will turn around and pay to hire you,when he/she can get you for free???

This is precisely why job bridge and fas schemes are undermining the jobs market.

Ive seen with my own two eyes payed workers being let go while we were brought on the scheme they were in the process of leaving their paid employment.

Call that fair,call that justice,call that job creation?

Wake up!

author by Eleanor - JobBridge FAS Solaspublication date Tue Nov 12, 2013 16:38Report this post to the editors

Seoirse

Fair comment. Community employment schemes organised by FAS greatly enhanced the lives of people; FAS CE schemes enabled people to work in their local communities, to contribute and receive additional payments to social welfare payments. Community employment schemes paved the way for single mothers, people with disabilities, empty nest women, to re-enter the work-force on a part-time basis. In many cases, these CE schemes facilitated people to move into further education. Unfortunately, the problem, as you state relates to those who exploit the vulnerabilities of those they perceive to be weak and who climb up on their backs through cronyism, corruption and that attitude that says we will ape our masters of decadence and financial abundance, and we will do it better because we can do so. Shame on these people and now is the time for them to be reprimanded and where possible to be indicted for any criminal practices relating to corruption that the engaged in. The time is here for change. Privileges reigned throughout the Tiger for the elities and their sycophants but it is now time for Principles to lead the way.

Hedonistic is about the decadence of people who exploit the vulnerable and CelticTiger Ireland was the period of hedonism for the developers, the bankers, the cash economy, academia, the farmers who sold their land having tangled with the local authorities to change the rating from agriculture to housing, exploiters of all kinds are easily identified now. Fianna Fail endorsed the credence of the new Ireland. Could it last, probably not!

What have we now:- a quagmire of shifting sands smothered by the remnants of those who brought this country to its knees, through their cronyism, which if the evidence that we witness now tells us that corruption was the blight. Tribunals were established to establish if corruption existed but the truth is we were all conned to believe that corruption was being identified, linked to business people, developers, even to a former Taoiseach, and politicians but it was apathy that said 'let them go', the evidence from the tribunals would not be eligible for courts.

FAS, the semi-state enterprise, did some good but was consumed by those who had access to power who greedily followed the leaders on the gravy train starting at the top with the EU, to Govt, to developers, to private sector, all those who could use that little extra bit of power they had to gain power for their personal egos at the cost of the vulnerable.

Where to now? The crisis now merits different attitudes. JobBridge may be unfair but then do people want to de-skill, lose discipline of work mentality, leave themselves prone to mental health problems, or would they be willing to take the chance over a life-time span to work for the nine month period at 50 euros + their dole allowance? Times we hope are changing and social media is the dimension that can make significant changes in the lives of people and therefore involvement in a work environment proves essential.

Youth unemployment is never to be recommended. The economic crisis is dire. Ireland is repaying 1 billion euros per month in its budget deficit and we are being asked to endorse our perceived shallow excellence in that we are now able to exit the bail-out programme. The reflection therein is something like Narcissus and echo. Ireland is echo and we need every human being in our country contributing to this society through work, through social media, through citizen journalism and in every way possible including intra-generational. Young people are the future and they need to be engaged to act as those who will determine whether Ireland can achieve a write-down on the debt we owe.

Education is the way forward for those who are unemployed. Use the opportunities you get as a treasure that must not be wasted.

FAS is gone but keep tapping on the door of Solas until they hear you and provide the work opportunities.

Did you know that yesterday was Science Day? Do you know that this week is Science Week? Check out your local library and attend some of the science events making it part of your 2014/15 plan to get back into education so that you can ensure Ruairi Quinn will commit funds for back to education programmes going forward. Use these events to enlighten individuals to check out opportunities and engage with them.

author by Seoirsepublication date Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:35Report this post to the editors

FAS is gone but I hope the possibility of FAS-type local CE projects has not entirely gone with it. I'm glad to read "FAS is gone but keep tapping on the door of Solas until they hear you and provide the work opportunities." Does this mean that sporting organizations, town development associations, residents associations and recognized charities could think of converting old buildings for new community uses and suchlike and approach Solas for funding (+training) to get things up and running? I'd like to see Solas take up some enterprise ideas that the discredited FAS dropped.

author by Eleanor - JobBridge FAS Solaspublication date Wed Nov 13, 2013 16:31Report this post to the editors

Seoirse

I wholly agree with you. Young people and people who want to return to education must start to galvinize themselves against the severity of this recession and start creating opportunities based on their own initiatives using social media as the means of communication. Libraries provide computers free so be interactive with the global community.

Take this week: If you don't have access to the daily newspaper, check out a local pub, coffee shop, newsagent, neighbour, friend. Why? because for people wanting to engage with education there is a first class supplement, answering nearly all the questions you can ask in the Irish Independent today. The hard-copy in this case far exceeds the digital and you can access it and annotate it, discuss it with friends, as you plan your entry or re-entry to third level education.

STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Maths, core subjects on the school curriculum. The supplement details the CAO courses for 2014. It highlights where jobs exist? It details Research awards and also introduces the 'Smart entrepreneurs'. People should take account of the findings by the IMI in a recent report that states Ireland is falling behind in providing people with adequate education for the multi-nationals. This is a warning sign to people thinking about education - Ireland is a small open economy where we speak English and have had an educated workforce which has attracted many of the multi-nationals. We need to continue MNC's to locate here based on our educated workforce because the corporation tax rate may alter based on EU consensus. We need to tell the MNC's that our worth is in our educated workforce.

Solas and we are told little because it is not mentioned in this supplement is to be a director of policy and initiative for the creation of education products to suit market need. We hopefully can presume that this newly appointed group will sort out what worked in FAS and what failed dismally. We also hope that the practical side of work will be catered for and in particular apprenticeships similar in kind to those in Germany which involve work and study.

Back to STEM: Try to get the supplement. The diagram starts with the Practical, Business, Social, Humanities, Art, Science. Katherine Donnelly writes a most informative piece, Engagement particularly as far is education, learning and knowledge is concerned is the way forward.

How many people who are sitting their leaving certificate this year, or are aiming for back to education provision, or for people with disabilities, and who are making CAO applications really know what they want to do. There are a myriad of ideas floating around for some people where others have their choices made; or for that matter are aware of their inherent talents. For others who are trying to make a decision, Katherine Donnelly has provided an excellent World of Work diagram 'which allows people to see the connections between the activities they like and possible career areas. She then goes on to highlight the 'Interest Profiler' based on 8 categories.

For those who aren't convinced to get the Irish Independent Supplement, here is a little bit more about what Katherine Donnelly writes about. The 8 categories are as follows:

Realist: Working outdoors. Practical, hands-on problems and solutions. Think: woodwork, tools, machinery.

Administrative: Is more about data and details. Often relates to checking facts and figures; and less involvement with people contact.

Enterprise; starting up & carrying out projects
Think Michael O'Leary and Ryanair. Enterprise is everywhere but it is only few who take the chance. Enterprise is doing something and passing the benefit on to others at a price or a value. Smart is the buzz word in Silicon Valley and checking out Bloomberg tv introduces viewers to many high school drop-outs who get an idea and just run with it; some make it others don't but American culture is if you fail once keep on trying. Hence bankruptcy takes a year there.

Social: If you get on well with people, if you like teaching, communication, the social media provides lots of opportunities (as yet even undiscovered like MOOC's).

Investigative: The person who has lots of ideas has to move a stage further. Ideas need thought before action. These people often form mental pictures based on facts and figures.

Creative: You may not be into rules, regulations, parameters. You may take forms, designs and patterns and recreate them to your own interpretation.

Linguistic: Do you like the structured routine of an office? Do you create the information through writing or electronic media. Do you speak out publicly? This area of expertise is not limited by geographical boundaries or offices.

Naturalist: Martha and Mary in the Bible comes to mind. One thinks while the other 'does'. Organic is about a hands-on approach - it may be working with animals or plants and can also involve what they produce
.

Look at the cross-overs and realise that technology enters into each category and this is digital and tells us that digital is like learning to read and write in another period of time and it is now necessary to treat the word literacy as extending to technology.

For those interested check out : www.careersportal.ie/stem

author by Beagle - Life-long learningpublication date Sun Nov 17, 2013 16:35Report this post to the editors

Times are tough. Recession and austerity bite deep for six years now and although Ireland returns to the markets without a safety net (by choice), we cannot assume that times will get easier. The truth is this island of Ireland is facing breakers now and ahead for many years to come. What do we do? How do the wise people known as the greying population advise the young people? Ireland is reported to have a young population of 28% out of work, one of the highest in Europe. We are part of the group known as the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) and we need to closely align ourselves so that we can all put together our strengths and somehow row ourselves out of this crisis. The reality is that we need a write-down of debt and the Germans recent gesture of providing loans to Irish SME's at a lower rate of interest should be seen in the true light and that is they have exports earnings in surplus and the need to get return on that cash and that means lending it to people who need it. The PIIGS need to think selfishly for a while. They need to think about not adding to that rising surplus of German exports by buying from them; okay this is reminscent of not buying Mercedes or Volkswagon as the British did post world war II but on the other hand what are we PIIGS experiencing but the vigour of an economic war and we are all on the losing side.

What is this to do with JobBridge? The severity of the recession and the austerity programme creates a very harsh reality. There are over 300,000 unemployed, there are more underemployed, we can assume that at least 300,000 have emigrated and as for FAS, it has taken nearly three years to delete it from existence and now we are told that a defined, reformed, group of 200 approx people will head up Solas. These are the people that will take people from the live register and offer them opportunities to complete courses (if not the Fetac courses already in existence) but new courses offered by private enterprise sources. The alternative for people is to opt for JobBridge. This is about working and receiving e50 for 9 months experience in the workplace along with the payments you would receive on the dole.

Exploitation most definitely but realistically what creates the better opportunity for the unemployed person. It is a tough decision. The Fetac courses have been a great success for some but a sheer disaster for others, who report being on a merry-go-round with no chance of a job. Sinn Fein during the week made the bold statement that it condemns public sector internships. This is fine but we need to know what the alternatives are and all we know is that Solas is now in operation and therein no further information is forthcoming.

The Irish Times article by Stephen Collins (November 14th, 2013) tells us that 5,000 people used JobBridge in the public sector. The Department of Social Protection tells us that 40% go on to find jobs, less than half. However, beggars can't be choosers so if you are offered an JobBridge scheme you may be better advised to take the position, wait to see what Solas puts in place and then see if you can get onto a back-to-education course ie if you are not offered a job in the public sector as a direct result of having chosen JobBridge. A real conundrum.

Need to know comment to help you make some decisions goes like this:
A spokesman from the Department of Social Protection said that:-

public sector internships like any other, should give an intern a high-quality, real-work-place experience. In order to protect the intern and ensure the integrity of the scheme, control measures were in place.

It is worth checking out the recent Indecon International Economic Consultants report 2012.

author by Swiftian - JobBridge FAS & Cronyismpublication date Thu Dec 05, 2013 16:35Report this post to the editors

Shocking to think that this could be so at a time when we are told that at last there is a reduction in the number of people unemployed. It is unclear how significant the drop in the number of employed to just under 400,000 is affected by those who emigrate which is estimated at nearly 7,000 each month.

Dan O'Brien reports today in the Irish Independent under the title heading as above. He provides a little history of the job activation schemes for people who were out of work in the last recession in the late 1980's and early 1990's. By 1993, unemployment in Ireland was up at 16%. What is key here is that the Celtic Tiger intervened and people gained employment but the cruel irony is that the Government did not think it necessary to cut back spending in employment activation, and the main beneficiary was FAS, the now defrocked state agency. Like the way we tackle the homeless situation, the drugs crisis, charities, the asylum seekers, the bureaucracy and the Privilege versus Principle brigade peddle their wares and create industries.

"Inevitably, with lots of cash and little to use it for,taxpayers' money ended up where it should not have ended up. An industry grew up that helped not the jobless, but trainers who made a good living from providing training courses, many of dubious quality and little relevance to the labour market'.


The 2010 report highlights that almost 1 billion euros a year was being spent and that "too often training programmes were not only useless, but worse than useless - people on some schemes were actually less likely to find work that those who got no help whatsoever'.

So yes, we need to examine JobBridge, FAS remorphed as Solas, the courses that Solas will schedule for the many unemployed at present. It is essential to grasp just how non effective policy to date is in relation to re-training, upskilling, providing adequate education courses.

Before the crash - in 2007 - the number of people on "activation" schemes averaged just over 50,000. As the economy went into freefall an additional 300,000 people had joined the dole queues by 2010, but the number of additional places rose by a pitiful 10,000 or so. However, in the mean time albeit some improvement, it is hardly adequate....

Three years on again, the response remains woefully inadequate to deal with the scale of the problem. In the first 10 months of 2013, 77,000 people on average were on schemes, or an additional 17,000 compared to three years ago......
What can we say?

author by re exploitation or oppurtunity...publication date Fri Dec 06, 2013 14:47Report this post to the editors

Invariably there are no jobs to be seen at the end of these fas/job bridge schemes,ive been on two of them BOTH fas and job bridge,with no job prospects in sight.

Also it is hard to shift the perception (that those who happen to fall into the fas/job bridge job exploitation trap) are lazy and unmotivated and thats why they find themselves in these dubious situations with job exploitation..

One commenter has argued is it oppurtunity or exploitation,i would say exploitation,with no job in sight no prospects from doing this stint i would say the SOLE AIM IS FREE LABOUR FOR EMPLOYERS.

That is the central function of these schemes,therefore exploitation in this is endemic it is the very nature of these schemes as its their sole function to subsidise big business.

It sucks what could be a paid job out of the community,further consigning the unemployed to a lifetime of unemployment,those who come from low socio economic backgrounds i notice are always on these schemes,they hit the most vunerable to this sort of attack because they are easy prey.

These schemes cost the government billions with nothing in return no come back no jobs created no nothing,its dead money and it does nothing for anybody,its time to cut these schemes out of the market completley.

author by Comyn - JobBridge FAS & Cronyismpublication date Thu Jan 02, 2014 16:39Report this post to the editors

What a relief? A semi-state sector company who employees people (third level graduates) as part of the JobBridge scheme have had one successful outcome. The person got a job, according to my source. However, it is my belief that this represents a minority.

Today's Irish Examiner has a most interesting for the readers of this site. It's about 'Fighting inequality with Innovation' by Stefano Scarpetta: director of employment, labour and social affairs at the OECD. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013 www.project-syndicate.org.

2014 and the time is upon us to gather thoughts together and make decisions as to how best to engage with realities faced by so many, in particular our young people, concerning the unemployment crisis in Ireland Inc. The question is how do we equip ourselves to become contributors to our society. How can we engage with the Captains of Industry and enlist them to provide apprenticeships and opportunities to gain access to the workforce or to avail of grants for those people who want to be entrepreneurs.

Stefano Scarpetta sums it up quite simply: 'Putting people back to work at productive, rewarding jobs can help stem widening income disparities, across the globe'. The reality we must face is that income inequality is increasing worldwide for decades. To compound this we must add the impact of increasing unemployment and also under employment (reference OECD report to G20 in July 2014). The inequality crisis is damning and is being moved towards top of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda. They recognise the challenge of the need for 'inclusive growth'. According to this Forum:

....widening income disparities will be the second most important world trend in 2014, behind only Middle East tensions. Income gaps are growing for many reasons, ranging from "skill-biased" technological progress to corruption. But, whatever its causes, putting people back to work at productive, rewarding jobs can help a great deal,, and this demands the best efforts of governments, employers, and civil-society groups on many fronts.



2014 and people looking for employment, education, up-skilling, apprenticeship training - it is time to be creative and innovative and ensure the opportunities are made available by the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Education, Solas, Intreo and that the trainers who are appointed to provide the education/apprenticeships are professional and are guided by an acceptable code of conduct, which we know FAS often faltered on. It is time to make sure that those Corporates (Google, Microsoft, Dell etc) who avail of our infra-structure, our educated workforce, the fact that we speak English and that Ireland is a member of the EU, make opportunities to help close the unemployment/underemployment gap that presently exists. As Stefano Scarpetta states most countries aspire towards a "knowledge society" while making the most important point that this does not exclude the need for both technical and vocational education. Ireland can be confident about being more than half-way there to being a "knowledge Society" but we have failed dismally to maintain the levels of vocational and technical training that was provided by ANCO and the technical schools of the 1980's/90's. It is time for Ireland to look to our other EU cohorts for example in particular to Germany whose youth unemployment rate is below 8%, to Austria and even Switzerland. Vocational training is about export-led motivations and we need this.

To end with a final quote:

There are many innovative approaches to sharing growth more equally, and more are emerging all the time. But they all point to a fundamental truth: If young people and the disadvantaged are to find satisfying and rewarding jobs, governments, employers, educational institutions, and civil-society groups all have an important role to play. Our economies' long-term sustainability depends on it.



Remember knowledge is no load to carry. Open publishing is free so keep informed and share content.

author by v for vendettapublication date Fri Jan 03, 2014 18:26Report this post to the editors

@re exploitation

These schemes cost the government billions with nothing in return no come back no jobs created no nothing,its dead money and it does nothing for anybody,its time to cut these schemes out of the market completley.


I disagree with you. These schemes do do something......for the employers. They externalise the cost of employment to the public purse, drive down wage costs, increase profits, and help make the workforce more desperate and hence compliant. Because the alternative to your shit low paid job is harassment and slavery at the whim of well paid bureaucrats in a government department.

Of course the latest thing ( announced on 24th December, but not in his national address ) Enda and co. have cooked up is to get unemployed people to do the work of the local councils for far less than the other people actually being employed to do the work. Your property tax was supposed to cover this of course, but Enda decided to take that instead to pay the billions of interest on our loans from our so called "friends" in Europe.

Great idea! Let the people who leech off the taxpayer clean out the sewer pipes for less than minimum wage. Of course, as usual, they start with the poorest people living on 188 per week or less. People who are poor, disorganised, that don't vote and don't have a strong lobby group to protect them. Nice!

Thing is the biggest leeches that suck the most off the taxpayer are probably pensioned TD's and civil service bureaucrats under 68 with big pensions, or large MNC's paying no tax but using our infrastructure and distorting our GDP which increases what we have to pay towards Europe by millions..

Lets see this policy start at the top first where the biggest leeches live. Lets see CEO's and exTD's under 68 lead the charge into the dirty clogged sewerage pipes. I'd like to see Mary Harney, Bertie Ahern and Ray burke grapple with the brown stuff each week to justify those huge pensions sucked from the state teat for a few years work.

Thing is, if anything it will cost the state even more to force the unemployed into jobs they are not trained for / do not wish to do. Money is being siphoned off in the millions from the "dormant accounts fund" to do this. People will have to be trained, insured (and there WILL be claims!) and after all this, they will be unmotivated and passive aggressive having been forced into the job and underpaid while their co-workers receive a fair wage and benefits for doing the same work. We either want capitalism or we don't.

"You pay peanuts, you get monkeys" as we are so often told when we question politicians or banksters eye watering salaries. But of course it's ok to pay peanuts for people working on our critical infrastructure.

Bah! I'm totally sick of FG/Lab right wing policies designed to fuck over the poor, dismantle social welfare, privatise everything and sell off what's left of the commons and sell us out to the European fatcats as a pool of cheap desperate labour or educated brain slaves for german private industry at no cost to them while they rob our fisheries and get our oil and gas for a song.

We need to look to Iceland for inspiration before it's too late.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/dole-recipients-to....html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/219875-dol....html

author by concernedpublication date Fri Jan 03, 2014 20:54Report this post to the editors

People need to vote a real credible alternative to FF/FG/LAB...

Fine gael(and indeed frankfurts labour)oversaw and did NOTHING when fine gael were out and about with brown envelopes..

They only got into their own complaining about the opposition when it was too late..Where were fine gael to speak out when it was all about to go wrong..

Remember enda kennys lying words??''It is morally wrong,unfair and unjust to tax a persons home''..A direct quote from enda kenny in 1994..

Can you trust a man that can comfortably lie to the nation with such ease?

The problem with the main voting block and the reason why we may never get rid of the FF/FG/LAB old boys is because the main voting block are comprised of ignorant brainwashed middle class consumers who are comfortable in the system and think there is nothing wrong with the government system.

Its until they get knocked down a perch or two to working class status or lose it all with mortgage repayments they will really know then what the rest of us have to face with these job bridge shennaigans - exploiting those on the dole for peanuts with no real job in sight.

author by ruapublication date Sat Jan 04, 2014 14:15Report this post to the editors

Just to quote from merrion street.ie ...

“But the figures also demonstrate the emphasis I’ve placed since becoming Minister on transforming the Department from the passive benefits provider of old to one that is actively assisting people back to work, training and education. Our service does not stop at merely providing a jobseeker’s payment to somebody who is out of work. We also provide the employment supports to help that person back into work, training or education. That is why we spent over €950 million last year on schemes such as Community Employment, Tús, JobBridge, and the Back to Work and Back to Education Allowances.”

In all, expenditure on Working Age Employment Supports increased by 10.6% in 2012 to over
€954 million. The Back to Education Allowance facilitated 25,033 recipients during the year at a cost of some €200 million. Over 29,500 people engaged in employment programmes during 2012 with the Community Employment Programme having the highest number of participants at 22,445. The Rural Social Scheme and Tús had 2,591 and 4,530 participants respectively. An estimated €54.73 million was spent on JobBridge, the national internship scheme.


Now if you look up the fact that we have spent 54.73 million on job bridge alone,and 950 million on all these job schemes,my question is: What do we get out of all this expenditure of public money??

Nothing,no job prospects,just rehiring of free labour staff as opposed to taking the intern on..

Note these internships have been upgraded to over 20 months - So what does this mean 20 months of free labour with no job in sight.

If you add up all the people on these different job schemes thats a large chunk of the unemployed population. So it distorts the figures of the unemployed as ''working'',when they are being payed nothing and still in receipt of SW.

Here is the damning link:http://www.merrionstreet.ie/index.php/2013/07/2-2-milli...t=144

Not only do these job schemes take a large amount of public money away,they rob jobs from the community effectively acting as job blockers..

author by concernedpublication date Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:14Report this post to the editors

''the Alternative

The government and sections of big business have argued that one of the reasons we have such high unemployment is a lack of experience. They argue that Irish universities and colleges are churning our highly educated graduates who are destined for the dole queue because they have no work experience. This is where JobBridge will come to the rescue by having people work internships for 6/9 months, this apparently will solve the crisis. However, they overlook the real reason for the unemployment crisis – there are no jobs! The alternative to ScamBridge is therefore to create real jobs. We think that JobBridge scheme should be phased out and replaced by a RealJobs scheme.
What’s the Alternative to ScamBridge?

There are thousands of interns currently on JobBridge placement schemes. Measures need to be implemented immediately to improve their working conditions:

There should be an immediate investigation and review of all current JobBridge internships – including full publication of all statistics relating to it – the number of participants, the names of all companies involved and how many interns they took on, the number of interns who found employment with the same company.
A thorough vetting procedure of all internships offered by organisations should be implemented – an in-depth look at the working environment and an in-depth proposal of what the intern will learn.
Companies should not be allowed to hire interns consecutively to do the same job by simply changing the job title
The current practise of monitoring only 5% of internships must be replaced. The internships must be policed properly to avoid exploitation. All interns should be monitored and on a regional basis, monthly meetings of interns and monitors must take place so that any problems can be aired and discussed.
Any company who is found to have used an intern to avoid hiring a member of staff should be made to reimburse the state for welfare costs of that intern, and any tax breaks received. The intern should be compensated for the time worked at the agreed rate of pay.
An internship should be an opportunity for the intern to learn not to become an unpaid member of staff. Any work deemed to be unnecessary to the learning experience should not be fulfilled by the intern. For example, any company that does not currently have an online presence should not be able to hire an ‘intern’ to develop a website for them.
Interns should be reimbursed by the company for the cost of travel to and from work as this often the cost of this exceeds the €50 top up the intern receives.
Interns must not be put under pressure by the company to avoid taking necessary time off , as set out by the JobBridge rules.
A company that takes on an intern must provide a paid job to the intern on the completion of an internship, unless they can provide valid reasons relating the to the intern’s performance or their financial status that justifies not taking them on.
Interns who partake in a project for which a bonus is given to staff should also receive a share of the bonus.

Real Jobs with Real Wages

JobBridge should be phased out and replaced by a RealJobs scheme.

The fact remains that no matter what rules are set to monitor, Jobbridge employers will exploit the scheme. Why would they pay someone to work for them when they are being provided with unpaid labour by the state? JobBridge will act as a drain on jobs being created.

JobBridge should be phased out and replaced with a RealJobs programme. Rather than pump funds into private business through this scheme and tax breaks, the money should be used to get people back to work.
Internships in the public sector must be stopped immediately, as they are being used to fill in the gaps left by the cutbacks. Instead, the staff embargo should be lifted and where it is necessary to employ more people, they should be employed on the agreed wages and conditions.
Match people’s skills with society’s needs – for a RealJobs nationwide programme of necessary public works to slash unemployment. This could involve upgrading vital public infrastructure, such as the replacement of water mains and pipes throughout the state, a national rainwater harvesting programme in all public buildings, the retrofitting of public buildings with insulation, the replacement of all unfit social housing and the building of necessary schools and hospitals.
Councils should take on apprentices at the proper rates in order to allow them to finish off their apprenticeships
College fees should be scrapped, together with the provision of a decent grant to allow people to get training at third level education''.


I have to agree with the author of scambridge.ie,we have to ensure there are penalties for employers attempting to full what could be a real paid job with free labour.

The costs should be reimbursed to the tax payer and the unpaid member of staff who was wrongfully taken on in that capacity should be paid for the hours they worked.

I think the bit he touched on about employers getting unpaid members of staff to do work that is unessecary and outside their scope is most relevant as i have had first hand experience of this also.

author by Comyn - Social Justicepublication date Wed Jan 15, 2014 16:31Report this post to the editors


'JobBridge should be phased out and replaced by a RealJobs scheme'

In an ideal world, I would agree with this statement but with unemployment so high and particularly for young people, sometimes it is better to have work with little pay, and potential to get work. However, exploitation must be identified and prevented.

Well FAS is fading away and we occasionally hear or read about its replacement. Solas or is it Intreo or some other organisation is the promise but the reality is about further ambivalence by the Department of Social Protection who has assumed responsibility for creating work for the unemployed, particularly the long term unemployed ie 300,000+ people.

What we need to know and be constantly aware of the plans the DSP have to tackle unemployment and most importantly their time frame and who they intend to outsource the work to.

Sunday Business Post January 5th 2014 article by Gerald Flynn.

Jobpath allocates 300,000 jobless to third party specialists

Paid bounty for each person who gains employment

Initiative that has attracted amost a dozen British and global firms


They are to be referred to as "third-party activation firms". The Department of Social Protection plan for 2015 to allocate 300,000 people who are deemed long-term unemployed to these "third party activation" firms and the plan is to pay these firms a bounty every three months" if they secure "sustained" employment for a person they enrol. These are the welfare-to-work programmes that exist in the UK but whose performance is questionable and worth review. Check out the Steps2Success activation initiative in Northern Ireland.

The Troika (EU/IMF) has departed but unemployment remains their concern. They have requested:--

More focused activation and penalties for welfare claimants who fail to participate




Tenders are sought and the plan for the DSP is to award one contract for each of the four regions.

The initiative is designed on a "payment-by-results basis, with a 10% early payment for preparing a "personal-progression plan" for each person passed on from the Intreo
employment services offices
.


The aim: to secure a job within 12 months.

Each contract bidder will submit their tenders setting their own prices and fee rates. They will make a projection as to how many referrals they will place in employment. What is being created is an 'emerging Irish welfare market'. Outsourcing is the objective. Names like G4S, Serco, Maximus, Reed are among the names who have shown interest to date. Others include TGB Learning, Rehab (Angela Kerins, Chief Executive in the news recently; she will not give details of her payment package), WorkingLinks, Noonan Serivces.....Tenders must be submitted to the Department of Social Protection before the end of Feburary. The contracts will be awarded by April 2014. However, it will be October 2014 before any referrals will be forthcoming from Intreo. This does not provide much consolation to those people who want to be in employment and form the dole queues at present.

Can we be convinced about this initiative or is it just another false promise and means of procratination?

[[quote]]Miriam Ahern, managing partner at Align Management Solutions, said that "this is a good initiative to supplement the obviously overstretched DSP/FAS staff who have been snowed under with the huge surge in long-term unemployed who now make up nearly two-thirds of the Live Register'



author by Brian Flannery. - Justice.publication date Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:06Report this post to the editors

Enterprise Ireland lost 130 million in bad investments in 2012 yet Bruton sings numb. New CEO of Enterprise Ireland claims to have created over 6.000 jobs in 2013, Where even the front line staff who work under Julie Sinamone CEO are baffled at the figures being spinned
I believe they are using Jobridge as cooking the numbers. Something here does not add up in real maths numbers of jobs created.
Brian Flannery.

author by jauntspublication date Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:50Report this post to the editors

A glutton for punishment, I rang Enterprise Ireland’s press office last week. It was the voicemail: “This is Enterprise Ireland on Monday, January 6…”

Small problem: It was Tuesday, January 7. Luckily, I was not an Arab sheikh seeking to do business. Sheikh this or sheik that might not have been too impressed by EI’s cavalier attitude to minor matters like the day of the week.

A little later I rang again, on the main number. Another voicemail: “This is Enterprise Ireland. Our office hours are 8.30am to 5.30pm…”

Small problem: It was 5.19pm and the office was closed.

Apparently they know not the day nor the hour at Ireland’s quango for would-be entrepreneurs. Somehow they know how to be nine-to-fivers at home and how to party abroad.

Last week Enterprise Ireland was focusing on Saudi Arabian sheiks. Enterprise Ireland had pulled one of its annual strokes: it had kidnapped a willing Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and whisked them out to the Middle East for a series of photo opportunities.

A classic EI media stunt. Similarly in 2013, it had issued an end-of-year statement to steal the headlines. It had drummed up an unholy razzamatazz during the annual slow news period. This year it excelled itself, organising for Enda and Richard to throw shapes in the desert alongside mega-rich oil sheiks. Pictures galore of the two boys extolling the virtues of Ireland were despatched home to the Irish media. Enterprise Ireland, Enda and Richard were creating jobs.

Perhaps they were, but the five-day jaunt to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates was geared for home consumption. Hollow boasts were made that they had signed €25m of contracts while on their mission, but it is a racing certainty that nearly all the deals were done and dusted months ago. The formal signings were delayed for the Taoiseach’s visit. And for the pictures destined for home.

Enterprise Ireland basked in the reflected glory as the Taoiseach and Bruton lauded the hapless quango for the mission’s “successes”. The politicians took it in turn for the soundbites. They even brought along 87 favoured Irish companies as cheerleaders. All 87 were meant to be on-message, proof that Ireland’s best businesses are behind Enda.

One outrider broke from the pack. On Monday, one of Enterprise Ireland’s prize prodigies got a rush of blood to the head and decided to do a solo run. Perhaps it was the hot sun, but Angela Kerins, the chief executive of Rehab, offered herself to RTE’s Morning Ireland — all the way from Saudi.

Angela wanted to relay how she and Rehab had brought pre-employment programmes for disabled people to the Middle East. She decided it was time for a few plaudits for Rehab. Not to mention for Angela.

Interviewer Gavin Jennings let her rabbit on. Citizens all over Ireland listened, agitated: when was he going to ask her about her salary?

For a moment she seemed to have escaped. Then with those lethal words — “I cannot let you go without asking you about…” — he detonated the salary explosive.

Angela waded in so deep that she may soon find herself in front of the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee.

It was car-crash stuff. The spinners from Enterprise Ireland must have torn their hair out. The nation was suddenly making the connection, asking: Is this where EI’s money is going? Was Angela drawing her vast pay cheque from the grants lashed out by EI?

The head of Rehab brazenly demanded transparency from the charity industry. And promptly refused to reveal her own salary. The head of Rehab claimed that charities must attract “the best people”. And clearly implied that she herself was top of that elite intelligentsia. The head of Rehab maintained that she had frequently been open about her salary in the past. (The last figure mentioned — two years ago — was €234,000). And promptly refused to give us an update. Her evasion has persuaded many observers that her pay cheque is now far higher. Her hubris was breathtaking.

Rehab sent the largest delegation of all 87 companies travelling to the Gulf. Someone has a few bob to spare. EI needs to be asked how much it has given to Rehab.

While the images of Enda, Richard and the sheiks from Enterprise Ireland’s circus were colourful, the quango’s figures back home are dull.

Its own cost-per-job measurement rocketed from €4,463 in 2000-2006 to €12,597 in 2006-2012 — just a whisker below its all-time high. It receives an incredible €293m in Oireachtas grants. It is gifted another €23m from taxpayers or European subsidies, making a total of €316m. It only manages to disburse €186m of that to support industry and create jobs. It spends an inexplicable €86m on “administration, operation and promotion”. It spends €80,000 a week on travel; €40,000 a week on professional fees; and over €1m a week on staff pay.

A quango for entrepreneurship is not the answer to the jobs crisis. EI is an oxymoron. Enda Kenny must have been startled by the number of real Irish entrepreneurs he discovered in Saudi last week. Many have moved to the Middle East permanently, where they are making millions and creating jobs. Perhaps he asked himself why they are not using their entrepreneurial skills in Ireland.

A quango-infested Ireland is a cold place for entrepreneurs. If Enda were to begin by abolishing Enterprise Ireland he could save an overnight €300m. He could then reduce taxes for entrepreneurs; offer tax breaks to the disillusioned, thrusting young businesses which have upped sticks and headed for Saudi. They would create jobs by the bucketful, jobs that would not need propping up with further subsidies, year after year.

A quango would be exorcised; but so would all those happy-new-year picture opportunities
.

Perhaps the Enterprise Ireland model is a lean job creator? We will never know as it has no competitors and is painfully shy with information about its activities. Last week, spokespeople were refusing to reveal how much the trip to the Middle East cost.

They were happy to reveal that Rehab and others were paying for themselves, but when it came to specifying the numbers of officials and EI staff on the jaunt, they closed up like clams. The Taoiseach’s office was equally unhelpful in providing any detail about the trip.

But the quango did answer one question: it proudly sent me a full list of the cheerleaders, the participants on the trade mission with a few intriguing details. I was pleasantly surprised, but not quite a convert.

Just as I finished this article, I received a bombshell, an urgent email from Enterprise Ireland: “The other day I sent you a document listing the participating companies on the trade mission. That version was confidential and I am sending you now attached the appropriate summary listing.”

Happily, I still have the confidential, accidental leak. Over this weekend I shall examine it in more detail and bury the sanitised version. Why did I ever doubt, even for a moment, that the semi-state was infested with a culture of bunglers?


shaneross.ie

author by PimFortuynpublication date Mon Jan 20, 2014 18:20Report this post to the editors

Expect our unemployed builders to be busy building more mosques in Ireland as a result of this.
Saudi Arabia is only interested in exporting it's strict version of wahabi islam to rest of the world.
Ireland has little else but water that is of interest to them.
Of course Irish Water could have been out there negotiating...

The recent "Jihad Jane" incident in Waterford and the presence of notable CIA sponsored jihadists like Madhi Al Harati is an indication of what is probably going on here under the surface. It's a quiet place out of the spotlight where Jihadists can go without being recognised to plot and foment and train others.

The Saudis have realised what idiots we are and that they can wave a few shekels and our greedy scumbag politicians will sell out our little country in a heartbeat.

We got rid of catholicism folks. Now prepare for Wahabbi Islam. Thanks Enda!

author by Blake - The Job bridge / FAS scandal - Free labour schemespublication date Tue Jan 21, 2014 16:38Report this post to the editors

Interesting. Who knows what lies ahead for Ireland Inc? However the visit to the Middle East and a trade mission of over 80 delegates suggests that Ireland is expecting major investments. The major question being what concessions Ireland Inc will have to make. According to the weekend newspapers, the Irish Stock Exchange has already begun to pave the way with some 7 billion euros Islamic bonds being transacted with them (greater than in London and Luxembourg).

Back however to the topic.

We know that the world leaders meet at Davos this week and we are told that major concern rests with the level of Inequality that exists in the world presently. This makes it an ideal time to raise the issue of JobBridge and internships.

Flip the coin: You work only if you get paid or you work in the hope that sometime in the future you will be remunerated for work. We know that there is a government internship in Ireland called JobBridge. This pays you an additional 50 euros a week plus your unemployment benefits. Is this exploitation? Is it making an opportunity available to a person to gain value added to their employment potential?

Youth unemployment in Europe is at near crisis level.
The Jobseekers allowance for young people in Ireland (Budget cuts come into effect this month) according to the article in today's Irish Independent by Gabrielle Monaghan mean that

a JobBridge intern aged 18 to 25 will effectively be wording for 3.75 euros per hour over a 40 hour week.

The alternatives are putting their master's degree to use at a high-street shop or fast-food outlet in return for the minimum wage, going on the dole or emigrating.


Personal experience of months of unemployment says take the internship and continue to learn rather than try to put in the days without hope. The costs of being unemployed and especially for young people can be harsh and health and the long-term scope of being employed or being an employer can become harder to achieve. However, the reality merits attention also. Exploitation is the middle name of certain mindsets of employers and it is necessary for people who choose the internship route to know exactly their own priorities, their values, their code of practice. Learning is a lifelong process but part of learning is discernment and exploitation must be identified and tackled.

Stand up and be counted is the next step forward. The campaign is 'We're not Leaving'. Check it out.

My suggestion is to read the article in today's Irish Independent and consider the following: Open journalism is about ignoring the economic value worth of the reporting. People are adding social value and other values. If people write on Indymedia, they are not paid but their motivations have a value added. The same principles can apply to JobBridge. The article by Gabrielle Monaghan gives the fodder that will help people make their decision and also know that they have the right to identify and highlight exploitation by employers. Tackling exploitation is the social added value that is a contribution that has merit also especially in a society where we want meritocracy to apply.

Need to know.....the debate in the US

...that the Conde Nast lawsuit is still underway.

Also

Two interns who worked on the film Black Swan won a case in June against Fox Searchlight because they weren't compensated during their internships.

A district court judge ruled Fox violated New York's state minimum wage laws by not paying the interns, a decision that the company is appealing
.

To the Phd students and any other job seekers, don't disregard JobBridge but ensure you are not made a doormat by an employer whose objective is not to enhance your learning curve and especially employers be they corporate or otherwise who engage in open exploitative practices regarding the people who work for them.

author by fredpublication date Wed Jan 22, 2014 08:25Report this post to the editors

FG are a pro business pro privatisation, anti social safety net neoliberal right wing party. Jobsbridge is part of that strategy. They knew exactly where this was going from the start. Anyone who thinks this scheme is a positive move is either a FG shill or is very naive.

Cynical companies are taking advantage of Jobsbridge to get highly trained people to work for next to nothing. Here's a recent article about Clarochem who recently advertised for two Ph.D. graduates to work for 50 euro per week on Jobsbridge.

http://universitytimes.ie/?p=23068
http://trinitynews.ie/uproar-at-jobbridge-scheme-escalates/


Clarochem Ireland Ltd is an APIs manufacturing plant, located in Damastown. The company say they are looking for an intern that will work as a Process Chemist. This intern will gain “practical experience in development and scale-up of chemical processes and their introduction to the manufacturing plant, gathering and reviewing relevant information/documentation”.

Although the internship is trying to attract a candidate with a “minimum PhD in Synthetic Chemistry”, the advertisement also states that there is “no experience required”. The applicant must only be “keen to develop their industrial experience in a busy pharmaceutical/chemical manufacturing plant. Furthermore, the intern is expected to work for 39 hours per week for a period of six months with an allowance of €50 per week in addition to the current Social Welfare payment.


Here's a link to Paul Murphy's "scambridge" site:
http://www.scambridge.ie/how-the-jobbridge-scam-works/

author by nctpublication date Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:19Report this post to the editors

Just seen none other than Ebay advertising what should be a paid job,lets remember this is a multi billion multi national stooping so low as to look for free labour..

Something is definately wrong here,this needs to be on the MSM,why isnt it?

author by MSM Listenerpublication date Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:33Report this post to the editors

More stories of job exploitation on none other than job bridge,a guy hired for free as a baker,was told if he worked 50+ hours he would get an extra payment on top of his 50,he did this 50 hours for a number of weeks and the guy didnt pay him,in the end he probably hired more jobbridge staff,and didnt pay him a penny.
He never reported it and the job bridge chairman who was invterviewed said he should have reported it,i think its rich coming from him,he hires job bridge workers for his own company.
I have often found myself in situations like this where i reported and often got stonewalled by these job bridge people,they are of no help when you are being exploited,the way they look at it is this IS exploitation and im making my bread and butter off this exploitation,ie they dont care as long as they are on the job bridge pay roll gravy train.
Brian dobson was a let down he didnt ask this job bridge chairman the hard questions and o gorman seemed to vet the people being interviewed by job bridge,it was cleverly edited to make job bridge up in a good light.
MSM are complicit in this and part of the problem,if it wasnt for sites like this and scambridge,we wouldnt know the truth about job bridge.

author by Comyn - JobBridge or Scambridgepublication date Sat Jan 25, 2014 16:44Report this post to the editors

FAS the disgraced Government entity that was tasked with training and finding employment for people is history. Cronyism was the culture that led to its eventual downfall and much is yet to be revealed about just what abuses of power existed and who will find themselves before the courts.

We know what many people think of JobBridge and the inherent exploitation from the many postings on this site.

We are told that Solas is the new entity and it is to work in line with the Department of Social Protection to take-over, but in a reformed way, the work of FAS. However, does anyone really understand how to avail of opportunities to find work? Christine Lagarde, IMF, at Davos, being interviewed by Bloomberg TV, warns us of the inherent problems of the unemployment especially among the young and promotes third level education. However, she also equally identifies vocational training and its importance to the workforce.

Tax exiles represented Ireland in the media in a most forceful way during the Davos annual conference where the world's wealthiest business people (song writers) mix with the political heads of Government. The objective is to identify areas that need attention and interestingly one of the major topics was the inequality that exists - a key point being that the wealth top 85 people equates to that 3.5 billion people. What does this say? I think it says that Governments and politicians are remiss. They fail to influence the wealthy to invest in their home countries to the degree that there is a fair practice redistribution of wealth to tackle what inequality causes in societies.

OK, there are business elites who we know too well in Ireland who are tax exiles yet who are heavily involved in media, businesses, own properties in Ireland etc. What these people are saying is that yes they see that Ireland has great potential but they basically do not feel that the Exchequer is managed to their level of competence so it is only natural for them to choose Holland, Switzerland, Malta as an alternative to register themselves for taxation purposes. Ireland has the infrastructure but they don't want to pay the tax.

Then we have our Corporation Tax rate which attracts the multi-nationals to our shores. The double sandwich and other types of deals ensure that companies like Google, Starbucks, Dell, Microsoft can end up paying tax of as little as 2% on profits. Is this fair? Maybe not but look it another way.

JobBridge: we need to sort the wood from the chaff. There are the employers who will provide these internships with ethics, knowing that at the end of the 9 month period they will have granted or secured employment for the intern. This would be a fair deal. What we do know is that there are exploiters out there. Ruthless abuse of power who treat these interns as fodder to be humiliated, tasked with the jobs that no-one else will do, and remunerated with a paltry equivalent of £3.50 per hour for a 40 hour week. To make this worse: They don't engage in further education packages ie paying for courses, or upskilling. These exploiters know that at the end of the 9 months they will discard these people and re-employ another JobBridge intern.

Solas and the Department of Social Protection, you need to kick into gear fast because too many people are unemployed and under-employed. Three years is too long. The research tells us that young people experiencing long periods of unemployment are prone to long-term health problems, in particular mental health problems. It is for this reason, one has to say to Dell, well done. You may pay reduced corporate taxes but at least you are thinking laterally and beyond the apparent capacity of the Government to create a market for education in Limerick.

To those young people unemployed; do not despair about the Googles, Solas and what lies ahead. Group together, take example from the older men's groups like Sheds and use the libraries and target the companies like Google, Microsoft and others to provide opportunities for people to get upskill and side step JobBridge and open avenues into entrepreneurship. This in turn will charge Solas to be competitive, committed and in earnest about creating job opportunities for people.

This article in the Times today is the inspiration: 'Dell launches scheme to aid Irish Enterprise'.

Dell is to offer start-ups in Ireland. It is about an initiative to help entrepreneurs. The Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs (based on a programme already in existence in the US and which is being established in the UK,

'aims to provide start-ups with access to funding, mentoring and Dell's technical expertise.......The programme offers both online and offline resources to entrepreneurs with a new competition that will give three Irish start-ups free office space, business supports and mentoring for a year at one of its campuses in Dublin, Limerick or Cork. Look out for this competition and start encouraging other corporates like Google to match Dell'.



If the web is the equivalent to the 'electricity' of the 20th century, the message is react now and use the web for empowerment.

author by Opportunities - JobBridge/"scambridge"publication date Wed Jan 29, 2014 16:08Report this post to the editors

Debate so far on this site comes down to whether JobBridge is about exploitation or if it is payment sufficient to facilitate an apprenticeship/learning curve option for the potential of a full-time position in the employment market.

Socialist MEP Paul Murphy is reported to have named JobBridge "scambridge". The reality is that more than ever young people particularly those under the age of 25 are without jobs across Europe. The question to be answered is whether the unemployed person is exploited if they decide to take the JobBridge option. The morality of the employer comes into question here and given the scandals emerging in every sector including charities, semi-state, academia, research, we must be ever more vigilent to ensure exploitation does not happen.

'When the going gets tough, the tough get going'. The JobBridge option (or other options outlined below) is an economic choice, the more the penalties are applied. Failing to comply could cost the person on Jobseekers allowance 33 euros a week. This is only the beginning of the Department of Social Protection operating a system of penalties when people are unemployed so that unemployed people with particular emphasis on young people are directed to paid employment. The objective is clear, we do not want a 'lost generation' who become dependent on social welfare without ever having the opportunity to join the jobs market. Will JobBridge and this new system of penalties work? The loss of 33 euros from the Jobseekers allowance and the loss of the additional 50 euros for engaging with the JobBridge (9 months max) is a significant incentive, I would think, to comply. Previously there was a similar cut: People who failed to accept offers on department-led initiatives (eg Pathways to Work scheme) were subject to a deduction from their welfare payments.

The penalties to be applied by the Department of Social Protection include the following (see Irish Independent 29th January 2014:-

****the non-attendance at meetings with welfare officials
****failure to accept a legitimate or training or employment offer
****failure to attend an accepted training or education course
****failure to apply for or accept an opportunity via JobBridge (new requirement)
****failure to register CV details on recommended job websites


The big question we must all ask is what is there to replace FAS? Solas are the policy makers and the enterprise boards or some such body are tasked with the action plan.

Exploitation of a person on JobBridge means there must be regulation and in the absence of effective regulation, this calls for citizen journalism, social media and awareness. Opportunity comes to pass not to pause so maybe joining the learning curve, provided it is available, is the best way forward.

author by fredpublication date Thu Jan 30, 2014 01:12Report this post to the editors

...The objective is clear, we do not want a 'lost generation' who become dependent on social welfare without ever having the opportunity to join the jobs market.


WHAT FUCKING JOBS MARKET???? THERE ARE NO JOBS.

What kind of FG useful idiot are you??? Talking up this scambridge nonsense?
Are they paying you or something??

You can't push people into jobs when there are NO JOBS. You only push them towards hunger and homelessness, and impose unreasonable stress on them to find jobs that are not there right now.
It's part of the cynical neoliberal FG ideology to dismantle social protections. THAT'S wat is going on here.

We had full employment here when there actually were jobs, without any of this kind of bull.

author by Brian Flannery - Justice.publication date Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:33Report this post to the editors

I believe Jobridge is total exploitation no argument on that point. The piece above Freds is well written and we may not agree with some points but personal attacks and name calling is a bit aggressive.
Indymedia is special Fred Why, It allows people to air their views from their perspective and this is good for all readers. You have many opinions on many topics Fred and well done to you but other writers should be respected also. I know you would agree on that point its good for Democratic line of free speech. Water will bring jobs but sadly at what cost and also the attack on pensioners by Joan Burton is a disgrace. Who really benefits from Jobridge the Goverment PR machine of course. who else.
Brian Flannery.

author by fredpublication date Fri Jan 31, 2014 02:30Report this post to the editors

Thank you Brian for telling me how I should behave towards someone seemingly trying to sell us on Jobsbridge as a good option. Frankly, I think I let the poster off rather lightly considering what they are advocating.

So now that we have discussed some of my poor behaviour as a poster, let's discuss some of yours. You seem to have many different identities. Including most of those posting on this and other threads, including the one on cronyism. May I ask why do you do that? Why not just use one identity?

Some of your "socks" include (takes deep breath....):

realist,
comyn,
beagle,
halls,
swiftian,
blake,
forster,
brian flannery,
etc etc

Often you are just talking to yourself abput things, a great way to control the conclusion of a conversation, or undermine a website

What are YOU up to here Brian?

author by Unemployed - Employmentpublication date Mon Mar 31, 2014 16:21Report this post to the editors

Activation mechanisms to get people back to work must show an element of respect to the people they engage with and that is paying a fair remuneration with the prospect of full time work.

JobBridge is one activation scheme but 'Gateways Initiative' is another.

Gateways Initiative proposed giving 3,000 long-term unemployed people 19.5 hours' work each week in local councils. The plan was to select people who were on the list for having their dole cut or reduced to be given a position for an extra 20 euros per week. A valid reason not to take the postion offered would be assessed.

Truth: 3,000 people plan to be posted to local councils by Social Protection Department is 92. (Irish Independent 31/03/14)

Pathetic performance and no doubt enormous bureaucratic contribution to basically a non event.

author by Insider - JobBridge/Scambridge Gateway Tuspublication date Wed Apr 16, 2014 16:28Report this post to the editors

People are all to aware of the dissent concerning the unacceptable levels of payment to people who join the JobBridge, Gateway, Tus and other Government back to work employment schemes. It is reported that only 90 people have taken up positions with Gateway who have 3,000 places available.

Yesterday, Minister Joan Burton brought draft legislation - Social Welfare and Pensions (No 2) Bill 2014 to the Cabinet. Senan Molony, Political Editor, Daily Mail, April 16th 2014 tells us that inspectors will be charged with turning up at the homes of welfare cheats. The interesting point is that they will have full powers of instant arrest. 650 million euros is the record haul to date from anti-fraud measures. This persuaded the Cabinet to link members of the Garda Force with the Department of Social Protection. Ministers have approved the secondment of 20 Gardai to Minister Joan Burton's Department and they will assist the Special Investigation Unit with fraud investigation work. These Gardai appointed as social welfare inspectors will be appointed for a 12 month period, starting this summer. The locations for secondment are Dublin, Dundalk, Donegal, Monaghan, Longford, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Navan and Sligo.

We are informed that

The officers will 'retain their powers as gardai for the duration of their secondment'....In serious cases of identity fraud, or multiple claiming of allowances, the gardai assigned to the Department will be actively engaged in the detection and prosecution of cases......


Internships work in the US and people look to the experience to be gained from working in a suitable employment environment. However if you read the earlier postings JobBridge workers feel that they have been exploited by employers.

author by Welfarianpublication date Wed Apr 16, 2014 20:27Report this post to the editors

you mean 20 garda have been assigned to harass all the people cheating by working at non existent real jobs in the irish economy while also claiming benefits? Hah!

Nice use of scarce garda resources. Meanwhile sean fitzpatrick gets off scott free, kieran boylan and the gangland murderers and the gangs robbing oil from old people all carry on business as usual.

How about instant arrest for political welfare scroungers double jobbing while on gold plated >100k state pensions before retirement age such as Dempsey, Ahern, harney, Ray burke etc etc? No fear of that.

One rule for the poor....

author by Ruapublication date Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:24Report this post to the editors

Since the anglo story broke the author of that destruction, drumm,is now ironically a financial advisor to some atlantic group in the US,and he is a property speculator for the famous mayo group also in the US.

These financial criminals should be slapped in jail just like any other criminal,no ceremony,no inquiry no free bottle of ballygowan water and a breather,just put in jail then sent up for a date in the courtroom for a final sentencing.

That should be how its done..

Why the pompous ceremony of a lenghty long drawn out inquiry for these cretins?

Meanwhile back in reality,where most of us live either just above the breadline or exactly on the breadline..Are forced to pay for the INTENTIONAL mistakes of these white collar criminals..

Those on welfare of course,are being harrassed to go on 20.00 euro a week jobs where they have to do mountains of work for the councils.If they dont they get cut off and made homeless.

I was in limerick the other day and one guy (who didnt look like the usual zombie heroin drug addict),said he was recently made homeless because he was harrassed off the dole,it wasnt because he didnt take up work.

He said he couldnt prove he was looking for work,he didnt have one rejection letter,and he said he applied for loads of jobs,but they just didnt believe him and cut him off,of course the rest of his life fell like a pack of dominoes,and he couldnt pay his rent etc,etc..

He ran into trouble,got evicted,took his possesions that are now gone,and out on to the street.

So i went over to subway and bought him a sandwich,asked him what kind of sandwich he would like(he said anything he is starving) he said he couldnt even afford a coffee and thats all he wanted,a cofffe and something to chew on.

Im on the dole myself but bought him a sandwich anyway,i could see he was genuine and not scamming for drugs,he looked 20 odd and too proud to tell his family etc,i asked him if he had anywhere to stay he said he hadnt so i gave him 20 euro to get into a hostel.

I went up with him and all,i could see he was in a bad way,he gave me a hug and asked me my name.

Im glad i did it,best 30 euro i ever spent,normally i would walk past all sorts of homeless people,but there was just something about him,he seemed genuinely desperate and lost.

I only had 40 spare to spend on myself that week,as i had expenses,and had a tenner left,but i think it was worth it..

author by fredpublication date Tue Apr 29, 2014 05:02Report this post to the editors

...

scambridge.jpg

author by TiredZ - Jobsbridge Workerpublication date Tue Oct 21, 2014 16:22Report this post to the editors

Just reading through the comments on here and thinking to myself how deluded the people at FAS are about the usefulness of their occupations. I completed a CE scheme two months ago, whilst I was on this scheme I literally was given no work to do, the same as the other 15 recruits that they took on at the same time as myself, the only exception to this being a lady they recruited to do the accounts / SAGE work. Our scheme supervisor to phrase it nicely was as thick as two short planks. Painfully inept at her job and widely disliked, spending most of the time smoking outside in her car. This organisation claims to be a community group and yet never actually does any community work other than the odd health promotion day that no one attends as they never bother to advertise. When I finished the only people that were kept on for another year were two of the managers neighbours who had both been there for over seven years which breaks the FAS rules. We complained about this and it was denied despite the fact we had evidence and it could be easily proved. FAS did nothing about it because the over all manager was complicit in this. After I finished I started looking for work again. All internships, so I bit the bullet and took one on. I am currently receiving 134.50 per week for working 40 hours. I have a degree in English, HNC in Sport Science and Sports Therapy qualifications, as well as Beauty Therapist training, so I have a wide range of jobs that I can apply for, but there is nothing out there as it has all been changed to these internships. I think my payment amounts to slave labour but if I quit my payment will be suspended for nine weeks, so its do it or don't eat / have fuel for warmth / rent money. So, I would like to say to FAS workers who moan about having to pay into a pension etc, be thankful for your pointless and basically made up defunct job and the fact that you will have a pension, because many of us won't and would love to.

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