A NEW survey has indicated that there has been around 2,000 people taking part in the JobBridge scheme in Limerick since it started.
At present, some 341 people are currently enrolled on the scheme, the survey from the National Youth Council of Ireland has shown.
The national internship scheme, which started in 2011, sees unemployed people working for companies or public bodies.
In return, they get a €50 top-up to their weekly social welfare payment.
The scheme attracted opposition, and the youth council has said reform is needed to enhance the experience of participants and increase their progression into full-time employment.
The council carried out a study recently which explores the views and experiences of people aged 18 to 25 who took part in JobBridge.
Deputy director, and author of the report James Doorley said: “The findings of this research are mixed, while a majority of participants were satisfied following participation, the research identified a number of deficiencies and a lack of quality. These range from poorly designed internships, inadequate mentoring, instances of unacceptable treatment of interns and lack of rights and clarity on rights. Other issues which emerged included insufficient monitoring, job displacement and inadequate income support. We are also concerned that only 27% secured full time employment.”
Nationally, the study found that 36,434 people have undertaken a JobBridge placement, of whom 10,125 were under 25 years of age.
The council is now making 10 recommendations to reform the scheme.
These include an undertaking to determine its real contribution to employment and employability. They also recommend the scheme be restricted to organisations where progression to full time employment is high, and a doubling of the existing top up payment to €100 extra per week.