JobBridge is the new National Internship Scheme that will provide work experience placements for interns for a 6 or 9 month period.
The aim of the National Internship Scheme is to assist in breaking the cycle where jobseekers are unable to get a job without experience, either as new entrants to the labour market following graduation, or as unemployed workers wishing to learn new skills. The scheme will give people a real opportunity to gain valuable experience to bridge the gap between study and the beginning of their working lives.
The scheme provides for up to 5,000 work experience placements in the private, public and voluntary sectors. This will be a time-limited scheme. Interns will receive an allowance of €50 per week on top of their existing social welfare entitlement. This additional allowance will be payable for the period of the internship.
What are the benefits to employers considering taking on an intern?
By taking part in the JobBridge scheme, you will:
Give an unemployed person the opportunity to gain practical and relevant work experience
Gain access to potential future employees
Get access to motivated interns who are determined to develop their careers and in doing so should enhance the performance of your business
Bring talent into your business with fresh ideas and a new way of thinking
Is my business eligible to apply?
The programme is open to businesses in the private, public, community and voluntary sectors.
Your business must have a minimum of 1 full time employee, employed for 30 hours or more per week.
Your business must be a registered entity (Company or Partnership but not a Sole-Trader) or in the case of a charity, must have a registered charity number.
You cannot provide an internship opportunity to an individual with whom you already have an existing employment arrangement with.
You must not have vacancies in the area of activity in which the intern will be deployed.
You cannot provide an internship to displace a current employee.
Normal requirements apply in terms of public/employers liability, motor insurance, workplace health and safety and Garda vetting.
On the basis that you satisfy the requirements how many placements can one offer?
Number of Full-Time Employees*
Number of Internships
20% of workforce subject to a maximum of 200 internships, whichever is smaller
*An employee is defined as somebody who is employed for 30 hours or more per week and who is subject to PAYE and PRSI
How do I go about applying?
Step 1 – Register your business and contact details at https://jobbank.fas.ie. Shortly after registering you will receive an email containing your username and password.
Step 2 – Using your username and password, log on to Employer section of https://jobbank.fas.ie and select the Internships icon. You will be automatically directed to a screen where you will be able to add an internship.
Step 3 – Enter the details of the internship to include title of internship, duration of placement, location of placement, the experience and skills the intern will develop by participating in the role. One is not in a position to set the amount of experience required of the intern as a specification but can instead focus on general requirements such as qualifications and personal characteristics.
All internship vacancies are screened by the FAS National Call Centre and you will receive notification by email once your vacancy has been published.
Step 4 – Review applications as they come in, select the best candidate for the role, provide them with an eligibility form and once they have been approved they can commence the internship placement.
Eligibility for Internship
The following is a general outline of the eligibility criteria:
You have been in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, Jobseekers Benefit, or signing for social insurance contribution credits for a minimum of 3 months or more in the last 6 months. Periods spent on FAS training programmes and WPP will be included in the 3 month count, however Community Employment Schemes are not included in the 3 month count.
You are actively seeking employment.
You do not need to check your eligibility until you have been selected by a host business. The host business will provide you with an eligibility form, which you should bring to your local Social Welfare Office.
What does it mean for the Intern?
You will receive an allowance equivalent to your current social welfare allowance plus an additional €50 per week for the duration of the internship (internship allowance).
The internship allowance will be paid in arrears.
You must not request or receive top up contributions from internship providers.
There is no restriction in place restricting the internship provider from reimbursing an intern for expenses incurred as part of the internship. However, expenses should not be provided for normal activities such as travel to and from the intern’s base and normal expenditure incurred on a day-to-day basis.
The period of receipt of the internship allowance will be disregarded in respect of social welfare payment and upon completion of the scheme the social welfare claim will be resumed from the point at which the intern left. For example, an individual on Jobseeker’s Benefit with 60 days of entitlement left on his/her claim will still have 60 days of entitlement left when their internship is completed if they resume their social welfare claim.
Interns under the age of 25 will be entitled to their base rate of social welfare plus the weekly internship allowance of €50.