An independent evaluation of Ireland’s internship scheme JobBridge claims it is among the most successful of its kind in Europe, with three in five participants securing employment.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, launched the report this afternoon at the LinkedIn offices in Dublin.
The research found that more than two-thirds of interns who participated in JobBridge were on the Live register for six months prior to taking up an internship.
According to the evaluation conducted by Indecon Economic Consultants, the 61pc progression rate for JobBridge is amongst the best in Europe, where progression rates for similar schemes average just 34pc.
The report found that 96pc of host organisations would recommend JobBridge to another employer.
Some 89pc of interns said taking part in JobBridge had provided them new skills.
“It is now clear that JobBridge is delivering for thousands of job-seekers by providing them with valuable opportunities to gain relevant work experience, knowledge and skills in a workplace environment,” said Kenny.
“The fact that three in five interns gain employment following the scheme is a testament to the potential that exists in providing new work activation services to job-seekers and employers.”
Former JobBridge participant Shane Ashmore, who, following an internship at LinkedIn, secured a full-time job with the social network.
42pc increase in JobBridge places
In Budget 2013, the Government increased the number of places in JobBridge by 42pc, from 6,000 to 8,500.
JobBridge is one of a number of schemes overseen by the Department of Social Protection, in which €1bn will be spent this year to provide 85,000 places.
“JobBridge has proven to provide a very effective pathway back to work, with an overall progression rate of 61pc into employment,” Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, TD, said.
“Since I launched the scheme in 2011, more than 16,700 people have participated in it – and the independent evaluation proves its immense value. The scheme is making a real difference to the lives of job-seekers, including those who are experiencing long-term unemployment,” she said.