AN INISHOWEN councillor has hit out at the Government’s internship programme, JobBridge, after discovering that a local company is aiming to recruit a water meter installer for Donegal.
The JobBridge advert for a ‘water meter installer’ in County Donegal was created online last week by a Culdaff based company, Culdaff Agri Plant Hire Ltd. It states that the successful intern will gain ‘practical experience’ in water meter installation and will attain skills in installation of water meters, water pipe laying, use of manual tools and use of computerised mapping equipment.
However, Burnfoot councillor, Jack Murray was left outraged after learning of the JobBridge advert this week. He said he was disgusted to see that the Government were using ‘cheap labour’.
“While being absolutely opposed to the taxing of public water as a matter of principle, I am disgusted to see that the government is now hoping to have water meters installed through cheap labour.
“The rollout of water metering across the state will cost the public purse some €539million. Phil Hogan initially dressed this up saying that it would create 1600 jobs. Now however, we see that not all of these people will earn a decent wage.”
The angry Sinn Féin councillor described said it is “a scam”.
“A young person on social welfare gets €100 a week. The job bridge scheme would give them €50 extra. That is a scam and is nothing more than cheap labour,” said Cllr. Murray.
“Rather than trying to create employment, the government is exploiting the unemployed by coercing them into cheap labour. That is a disgrace.”
The position within the Inishowen company will last a period of nine months and states that an allowance of €50 per week will be paid to the intern in addition to their social welfare payment. There is currently no other position for a water metre installer available anywhere in the country through JobBridge.
The JobBridge, National Internship Scheme, was introduced with the view of giving people a “real opportunity to gain valuable experience” and gain full time employment.
Other positions currently available in Inishowen include classroom assistant jobs, office administrator, and an ICT Technician.