herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

JobBridge is gone, but FG still need cheap intern

Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond
Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond

A Dublin Fine Gael Senator is looking for an intern who he hopes to launch on a political career path.

Neale Richmond, who was elected to the Senate on the Labour panel, is advertising for an intern, less than a week after his party colleague Leo Varadkar scrapped the controversial JobBridge internship scheme.

They will be tasked with administrative work and "detailed research".

Unpaid

In the ad posted on his personal website, the Ballinteer politician said he got his break into politics with a similar job.

"Back in 2005, I got my start in politics working as an unpaid intern (stagiaire) with the European People's Party in Brussels, this soon progressed into a full-time job with Gay Mitchell MEP," the ad reads.

"I believe internship programmes are vital to getting started in this field and I take them very seriously. I am looking for an ambitious and dynamic individual to join my team for the next three months and to use this internship to kick-start their professional career."

Working directly with Mr Richmond and his team, the successful candidate will:

- Compile detailed research on a range of policy topics

- Focus on his work on the EU affairs committee

- Contribute to the administrative running of his office

- Get hands-on training in how Government works

- Receive detailed career advice and mentoring.

The Dubliner said he will cover "expenses and travel" out of his own pocket.

Mr Richmond said he views this as his chance to "give back" after benefiting from his own internship and said he is flexible on the time a potential intern is able to give up to work.

"I've had quite a number of people contacting the office and offering to help out, locally as well as in my office remotely and I was thinking why don't I give something back, why don't I formalise it? Politics is a really difficult career to get a foot in the door," he told the Herald.

Successful

He said that he will coach the successful candidate and introduce them to his political network. The intern will not be based in Leinster House but will work there on occasion.

"I very much hope that when they finish up with me they'll be going on to full-time employment." He said the scheme is very different and "has nothing to do with" the defunct JobBridge scheme.

"I think it's a really positive thing to do... it's common to how things are done in every other country," he added.

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