Profiting from the most vulnerable

In Blog, Politicsby Fedayn16 Comments


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Giraffe Advertises JobBridge positions on

Why would a company that recently posted gross profits of €14m need to hire JobBridge staff at the expense of the taxpayer?

In a current JobBridge placement (here) Giraffe is looking for 9 Childcare Assistants to fill 6 month ‘internships’. No experience, no mention of Garda vetting and no qualifications beyond a pass Leaving Cert or equivalent.

The company which should be reeling following the RTÉ Prime Time investigates exposé of abominable child care standards across various agencies including Giraffe, is searching for free labour while parents pay up to €1,000pm to have their children looked after.

Employers are given basic guidelines when applying for free labour – the candidates receive far less than minimum wage for the 6 or 9 months they fill these roles. Basic guidelines include a ratio of permanent staff to JobBridge staff as follows:

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Giraffe in this case are looking for 9 JobBridge staff, presumably they are not all for the Sandyford branch as that would be against the rules. Also worth noting that these positions are advertised on which is not one of the Govt. administered websites intended for JobBridge.

A typical childcare assistant at Giraffe (according to a recent salary survey) is remunerated somewhere between €14,817 – €21,842. Admittedly a low wage, especially for what can be a highly stressful job as we saw in the documentary. However a saving of almost €180,000 by using JobBridgers would be welcome by a profit-centred organisation.

We presume that Giraffe is also allowing the requisite 6 month ‘cooling off period’ before taking on new JobBridge staff as per the rules, it should be noted that Host Organisations wishing to offer care related internships cannot use interns to displace the need for employees in cases where the Host Organisation is required by law (in the case of childcare) to provide a certain ratio of staff to clients.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, quizzed in the Dáil today, has said  there will be “no JobBridge approved for any of the facilities named in the RTE programme”. However these positions are still advertised.



  1. Pretty sure they’d be breaching JobBridge guidelines too.Meant to take on only 1 intern at a time for the same position.

  2. The issue is not who the company is hiring but how it is monitored. The ultimate responsibility falls on the government/HSE and how they choose to link in with and inspect creches. CCTV should go without saying as it is the most practicable and affordable means to monitor. Any records or files can be discarded/destroyed after a set period. Privacy isn’t really an issue as only inspectors/ authorized peoples would ever has access to the film.

    In terms of who should do the monitoring people with relevant experience, references and at least fetac level 6 in a relevant subject at a resonable wage. Two monitors for every 100-125 creches at an annual wage of no more than 30000. Line managers for every 30 monitors at an annual wage of no more than 35000. And finally one or two top heads of no more than 40000.

  3. this is simply shocking… :O what next, “jobbridge surgeons?” oh wait.. i know… “three jobbridge “doctors” required to tell pregnant women they arent suicidal. no previous qualifications necessary”. its simply scandalous with pedophilia scandals rife in this country that they could be SO CARELESS as to even THINK this was appropriate! It doesnt even mention any training, either starting the job, or preferably before the job… simply terrifying… :O

  4. where did the ’14m in gross profits’ figure come from? says that ‘Giraffe became an unlimited company in 2010. Its last set of publicly available accounts are for the year to the end of April, 2009, and show it lost €206,764 in that period, having made a profit of €241,342 the previous year.’ Big difference!

    For what it’s worth, I have no doubt they’re quite profitable — but I don’t like to pass on stories without knowing how accurate they are…

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