In a world first, I am proud to say, our powers-that-be have managed to develop a system that combines both the worst of the left and the worst of the right, merging wasting of public finances and exploitative working practices. Step forward the Work Placement Programme...
You see, it's simple really. You're a young guy fresh out of college, on the dole, and hence not getting any work experience. Employers can't offer you a job because they can't afford to pay you. So what the state does is say "Hey, employers, why don't you give this guy a job, but don't pay him anything. Instead, we'll still pay him social welfare even though he is working. Everyone wins right? You, a young dude, get work experience, the employer gets a free worker and the state...well, the state is still paying for your dole money, but at least it can claim that the unemployment levels are dropping.
But wait, it gets better. Notice the stipulation in the above example that you are a young fella, and hence need to develop experience. I would think that we should be encouraging young people to develop experience in key areas of the economy, like R&D and pharma development, those sorts of things.
Instead, we have a scheme where the state is providing free labour to that vital sector of the economy, shoe retail:
Retail Sales Consultant (WPP2) Dublin 2.
Or, the equally strategic travel agency sector:
General Administrator (WPP2)
Note that some of these placements last for 9 months to a year - that's right, 9 months to a year of state subsidised workers for business, 9-12 months of someone working full-time, 5 days a week but still drawing the dole, and not paying any taxes.
And, anecdotally, I've even heard that employers are hiring those more mature, senior people who find themselves unemployed, instead of new graduates who are trying to develop some real-life skills - defeating the whole point of the scheme.
Surely, only a greedy capitalist free marketer would engage in such disgusting activity:
15 WPP Opportunities at Department of Justice
That's right, 15 opportunities for fully qualified solicitors to work, free, gratis, at the Department of Justice.
Surely, those champions of socialism, the Labour Party, will put an end to this:
The Labour Party is currently recruiting two positions under the Fás Work Placement Programme (WPP).