The JobBridge scheme could be be scrapped next month
Could this be the end of the controversial scheme?
JobBridge has long attracted criticism. Under the scheme companies and government agencies employ interns, paying them €52.50-a-week, for full-time work, which they receive on top of their Jobseeker's Allowance.
More than 48,000 interns have taken up positions with 18,000 participating employers since 2011.
RTÉ reports that Internal auditors at the Department of Social Protection have raised concerns over job displacement after they carried out an audit on the scheme.
Although employers who signed up to the scheme had to make a statement on the application that a JobBridge intern would not be employed instead of a fully-paid employee, the report notes that no checks were carried out by officials to see if companies laid off workers and immediately replaced them with interns.
SIPTU has called for an immediate end to JobBridge and other “free labour schemes”.
Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has previously defended the scheme, which was put in place by his predecessor Joan Burton.
Varadkar has, however, now indicated that he will be announcing plans for a replacement for the JobBridge scheme soon, possibly as soon as September.
JobBridge has been at the center of much public displeasure since its introduction, with companies perceived to be taking particular advantage of youth unemployment.
Sinn Feín have also been making their sentiments clear.
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) August 21, 2016