The Irish Government “work placement program” is an initiative aimed at providing unemployed people with work experience . Participants in the WPP can retain their social welfare entitlements – but get no pay from the employers. It has not produced great results – and as at the start of May 2010 just over one third of the 2,000 available places had been taken up.
As at 7th May 2010 there were 919 placements on the Work Placement Programme but there were still 1,589 vacancies . The scheme has been running for 12 months
There have been criticisms – such as the lack of any bonus or welfare top-up offered by employers – when the reality is that it costs people to go to work in terms of travel, buying lunch and work clothes. The employer makes no contribution towards it.
It has also been alleged that some employers are simply using it to get access to cheap labour