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JobBridge Interns To Fix Garda Vetting Unit

As part of the controversial JobBridge Internship Scheme, jobs are now being offered to unqualified interns to take up employment in the Thurles Garda Central Vetting Unit, which deals with highly sensitive and confidential information. The jobs, (No Experience Required) entitled ‘General Office Administrator‘ will involve the use of internal Garda IT systems.

The 16 positions being advertised will earn each successful applicants approximately €50 a week more than they currently obtain through their current social welfare payments and applicants are required to have a high level of competency and proficiency in computer and keyboard skills, as well as proficiency in interpersonal and communication skills.

According to the advert posted on September 27th, the person recruited will also be assigned a ‘Mentor,’ to monitor their progress over a nine-month period of employment. These new recruited staff will be indirectly responsible for determining whether certain prospective employees are suitable to be allowed to work with children or other vulnerable people.

The advert on JobBridge emphasises the discreet nature of the job, requesting that the employee must: “Have a high level of personal responsibility and integrity and the ability to observe confidentiality in respect of the work conducted at the Garda Central Vetting Unit.”

This initiative has been criticised by members of the Gardaí, who state that it does not seem appropriate that such personnel would have people literally coming off the dole temporarily into what has to rank as a most sensitive area of activity, with access to the PULSE garda system (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) to undertake routine background checks on members of the public.

The JobBridge Scheme has come in for much criticism since its launch in July, with a number of the country’s most profitable companies using it to fill vacancies, thus raising concerns that employees were simply being laid off and replaced with cheaper State subsidised staff.

Recently Aer Lingus was forced to dismiss concerns when it sought an “Air Safety Assistant” under this internship scheme, following concerns that the candidate would be used to oversee safety management.  Tesco Supermarket were also forced to defend itself, having advertised for six interns to fill shelves according to its merchandising plans and to ensure that customers do not have to queue.

This recruitment comes at a time when only 400 of a recommended 1,000 redundancies sought in the Gardaí and required by the IMF, have been achieved.

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