Wednesday, July 16, 2014

16/7/2014: What Exactly does JobBridge Public Sector Record Tells Us?

We are all familiar with the JobBridge scheme run by the Irish State:

  • Young people are 'incentivised' into 'apprenticeships' where they are paid social benefits plus EUR50/week by the State to work on 'enhancing their skills'. 
  • In many cases (majority?) there are no real skills training components to the scheme and instead people are used as cheap labour.
  • In theory, upon completion of the scheme they are prioritised into hiring, since (in theory again) they have acquired new skills (of importance to their employer) and have established a proven track record of work.
So there can be two reasons why a JobBridge participation may result in not employing the intern:
  1. Intern proves herself/himself to be unsuited for the job (bad skills or bad aptitude etc); or
  2. JobBridge internship was set up not to lead to employment (in other words, from the start it was used as a vehicle for obtaining cheap temporary help).
Now, take this fact
"The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that 261 interns have worked at departments since the back-to-work scheme began, of whom 233 finished their internships. None were offered permanent jobs because there is a moratorium on recruitment in the public sector, which only allows staff to be hired in exceptional circumstances." 

So, let's ask: 
  • Was the reason that all 233 interns were not good enough for the job (remember, the article cites some instances where hiring was done, for the positions interns held, but not of interns themselves)? How can this be true if we have 'the best educated workforce in the world'? And if JobBridge is a 'competitive hiring scheme' where there is pre-screening of the candidates for suitability going on? or
  • May be JobBridge was set up - in the case of these 233 internships - to extract cheap labour? Surely the Government would not do such a dubious (ethically) thing as deceive young unemployed into a promise of a reasonable chance of gaining a job at the end, while knowing that "there is a moratorium on recruitment in the public sector, which only allows staff to be hired in exceptional circumstances"? Surely not!
So which one is true, then (because there is no other, 'third' truth possible)? Our education system produces bad crops of candidates unsuited for employment in our excellence-focused public sector? Or our State Training Programmes are run with ex ante expectation of not hiring people completing them?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps those interns will get work elsewhere following their stint at the Dept of Social Protection?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps those interns will now get work somewhere else with those new skills?

Anonymous said...

Why the United States and the EU cannot pay the debt of Ukraine to Russia, with the obligation to give the President of Ukraine for the production of shale gas by the Americans in favor of Europe? Is it not possible to agree with the signature of the President of Ukraine of these commitments? After all, when it is winter and Russia will cut gas supplies to Ukraine, Ukraine will face Russia on its knees, in order that the President of Russia has forgiven a debt for gas to Ukraine. Is President of the United States can allow that to happen? Winter is coming. Supply of gas to Ukraine from the territory of Russia is a matter of the lives of many people in Ukraine! Women, children, old men and old women are doomed to extinction from hunger and cold. Many urban dwellers in the cities of Ukraine will not be able to cook and FRY food for themselves. The EU can solve this problem without losing their benefits. After all, this issue could be mutually beneficial if correctly approach the resolution of this issue. Did the question of Ukraine's problems cannot be solved?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Irish Civil Service has particular legal requirements around recruitment which means they cannot just hire someone because they were a good intern? Perhaps this arrangement has existed since the 1920s to protect against political interference? Perhaps some things cannot be understood (even by an economist) just by reading a single paragraph on the web?

TrueEconomics said...

Anonymous, thanks for the comment. Good points raised and perhaps you are right. The problem, then, becomes - what is the point of JobBridge vis-a-vis the participant. JobBridge is supposed to transition people into employment by helping them with skills and by giving them a CV-filler. If internships provided are not, ex ante, designed for transition into employment, any future potential employer can and will question both the validity of skills a candidate may have acquired in the internship and the validity of CV continuity. In other words, internships that are not designed to transition into a job have to be structured very very carefully to avoid being discounted by future potential employers. Somehow, I have severe doubts that our public sector is that far thinking in offering these.