Jobbridgers used to clear citizenship backlog

Jobbridge: Does exactly what it says on the tin

Yesterday, I received a Freedom of Information file containing (part of) the Jobbridge database.

Showing it to a friend, I ran a trivial search: Who sought the greatest number of jobbridgers?

Three organisations requested 30 “interns”. For now, I can only tell you one of them. Step forward, Citizenship Division, Department of Justice and Equality.

Here’s Alan Shatter, speaking at a citizenship ceremony on 14 June:

When the Government came into office 15 months ago there was an enormous backlog of approximately 22000 citizenship applications awaiting decision. Approximately 17000 of these had been waiting in a barely moving queue for in excess of six months with an average waiting time in excess of two years. Some, indeed, had waited three to four years.

Having made decisions on almost 28000 applications since I took office, including more than 13800 so far this year, I think I can safely say that the steps that I initiated within my Department to deal with the backlog of citizenship applications have been a huge success.

Yes folks, your government, which has put in place a hiring freeze, is using its training scheme to hire workers on less than minimum wage to clear an administrative backlog.

Jobbridge: Does exactly what it says on the tin

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.


  1. Interesting that in response to a question in the Dáil on May 8th, 2012 Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter claims that “Under the new JobBridge programme announced by the Government a total of 16 individuals have been engaged by the citizenship division of my Department to date” (See here: )
    While the phrase “to date” might allow for some variation with the figures supplied to Gerard in the blog post, above, it is stretching belief to think that the number of JobBridge interns employed by this division of his department swelled from just 16 to 30 in the space of a month … something doesn’t add up and questions need to be asked.
    No matter what the excuse, the fact remains that the government is exploiting an internship scheme implemented by themselves, to hide the shortcomings within the public sector.

  2. I’m not sure how the inconsistency is explained, but it’s not due to my having more up to date information than Shatter. He addressed the Day on 8 May, the records supplied to me under FOI are to 29 March.

  3. For the record…
    Citizenship Processing Clerk: The successful candidate will gain experience of working in a busy public service delivery area and working within a multi-skilled team environment involving administrative duties e.g. information analysis / processing / validation, maintaining lists, data entry, document production/copying. IT skills: using proprietary databases, generating correspondence. Communications skills: dealing with queries. Organisational skills: file management, workflow organisation.

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