From the government’s JobBridge website;
‘Host Organisations will have NO vacancies in the area of activity in which the internship is offered’.
‘the placement is not displacing an employee….’
The merits of using the JobBridge scheme to gain oh-so-hard-to-get experience, and possibly a job, is not one I disagree with in principle. It is the whole ‘not a vacancy’ concept I find most curious.
I looked at some of the JobBridge positions currently on offer in the Education sector. (Similar analysis would no doubt hold true across other sectors, but Education is the one I am most familiar with).
Remember, none of these positions offered are deemed vacancies.
Take a 20 teacher school with 20 classes. If they have 20 teachers on the staff currently (ie no vacancies), what would they intend to do with a 21st? A floating position, to cover illness, absence or staff called away to a meeting? An extra resource to provide learning support to individual or groups of children? Or am I missing something? Or could a maternity or career break cover now be classed as ‘not a vacancy’ ie there is an appointed person due back to that job. It was sufficiently vacant to be advertised, filled and remunerated in the normal way last year and indeed, this year, by all other schools not using JobBridge.
School Boards of Management already receive an Ancillary Services Grant from the Dept of Education, to directly employ and pay for these categories of employee.
So, let’s take a caretaker. A school either does or doesn’t currently employ one.
If they do – they are already receiving Government Grant to pay them. So, the government is now going to pay out again to provide a second one? Was that really their intention?
If they don’t – well that sounds suspiciously like a vacancy. And, if they don’t - why wouldn’t they using their Ancillary Services Grant to employ and pay for one?
I’m also bemused by the notion of these JobBridge positioned being ‘mentored’. Given the day to day mechanics of school life – who mentors the teacher? The other teachers, all occupied in their own classroom? Who mentors the secretary or caretaker? (especially if one not already in place) the Principal? the teachers?
But as we already know. None of these positions are ‘vacancies’. Move along, nothing to see here.
Isn’t that right?