Know Your Rights: JobBridge

Question I lost my job last year and I heard that there is a work experience scheme which will give me an extra payment on top of my Jobseeker’s Benefit. Can you tell me more about it?
JobBridge is a national internship scheme providing work experience opportunities for unemployed people. Participants in the scheme are offered an internship of between 6 and 9 months with a host organisation. If you take up an internship you can keep your social welfare payment and you will get an extra €50 per week. You work as an intern in a host organisation for at least 30, and for no more than 40 hours a week.

To be eligible for the JobBridge scheme you must be unemployed and getting Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or signing on for credits for a total of 3 months or more in the last 6 months. (Periods spent on the Back to Education Allowance, VTOS, FÁS/Fáilte Ireland training courses, Youthreach, FIT, Community Employment Schemes, Tús, the Rural Social Scheme, Back to Work Scheme, Job Initiative or Job Assist may count towards meeting the eligibility for JobBridge).
If you are eligible for the scheme you can check the current internship opportunities on jobbridge.ie. When you have identified an internship, you apply to the host organisation as specified in the advertisement. If the host organisation selects you it will give you an eligibility form to be stamped by your Social Welfare Local Office. You should return the completed form to your local FÁS office, your LES (Local Employment Service) office or JobBridge.
You can find out more about the scheme on jobbridge.ie. The scheme is open to applications until 30 June 2013.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Dungloe Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 5430 Address: Dungloe Public Services Centre, Gweedore Road, Dungloe. Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.