Jobbridge and some very reckless loose tongues

I couldn’t believe what I was reading on twitter..

Jobbridge rant

Here was Pat Phelan, a self professed “good guy” (from his own twitter bio: @patphelan: CEO @TRUSTEV, from a long line of Citog’s, friend of Bill and Bob, hates bad coffee #happy #goodguy) having a wild and totally unfounded pop at me/Fuzion trying to create a job opportunity utilising the JobBridge scheme and take another careful step forward with our business.

I was amazed that someone so prolific online could be that careless and loose with his opinions and make such a reckless and damaging accusation – I don’t believe Pat knows the first thing about Fuzion. He certainly has never been through our door and has never had dealings with any of our team.

I took issue with him about what he was tweeting – he clearly has issues and an opinion about Jobbridge but has no right to throw muck at Fuzion.

Fuzion and Jobbridge – for the record:

Jean was the first person that we brought in as a PR intern. She was an extra person on our team and once the period was up we were delighted to give her a full time job. We then added Aisling to our Dublin team and after some initial training and some relevant experience under her belt she was poached by Edelman PR. We replaced her with Niamh who will also be made full time – again she was a raw graduate who has now clocked up valuable experience.

The advert that you saw us tweeting about in the above post is with the intention of trying to extend the team even further, which is risky business in the current climate. Through incredibly hard work and with the help of the Jobbridge scheme we have been able to add new members to our team all the way throughout the recession – we have never reduced anyone’s wages either, which if I say so myself is quite an achievement.

That is 3 new jobs in Fuzion – the Jobbridge scheme has allowed us to accelerate our expansion and create jobs and provide valuable experience for people.

We have also added other members to our team outside of Jobbridge.


I then came across the Scambridge website – their rationale for creating this dedicated website (fair play lads with your effort at #positivity) is stated as follow ” The Scambridge website and campaign was initiated after we received an overwhelming response to the article below by Socialist Party / United Left Alliance MEP Paul Murphy which was published on the website”

I will admit that from my experience someone, somewhere will always take advantage of any initiative, which can wreck it for others – some employers will exploit and take advantage but surely don’t tar everyone with the same brush – this scheme in my view is a win/win.

Even more Twitter abuse

I then found myself taking even more abuse on twitter about our recruitment drive:

I find some guy called Squid (lovely name) @squidlimerick taking a pop at the same advert “@GregCantyFuzion using a scheme that discriminates against people with certain disabilities. #jobbridge

This gets better …I am not actually trying to create a job but I am apparently discriminating against people with disabilities. Mr Squid, when you get a chance please take a peek at some of the successful work we have done for charities in Ireland.

And then I find another really prolific social media guy on the 28th May telling people to start clicking on the Google Adverts of companies who are taking people on through Jobbridge – thanks Damien..was that a pop at Fuzion?

Damien Mulley rant

Damien Mulley: “I’d never advocate doing this: Googling Cork companies that use JobBridge to avoid paying staff. Then clicking on their ads. Clickity”

Why would you put out such a tweet? 

So Fuzion are exploiting, discriminating and we deserve to be financially punished for our attempts to stay positive, expand our business and use a legitimate scheme in the spirit it was designed.

My head is spinning at such begrudgery, cynical, defamatory and financially damaging attacks – this is some of the stuff I really hate about certain people.

Thankfully not everyone is like this and I for one will hang onto my outlook on life, drive on and try to keep having wins and Yes, create new jobs and give people valuable training and a start they may not have had otherwise.


Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

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48 Responses to “Jobbridge and some very reckless loose tongues”

  1. Rudy de Groot Says:

    There are obviously people out there that have a very jaundiced view about job creation schemes. They are – perhaps – within their rights to comment. However – and here comes the
    ‘but’ – whilst they have the right to comment they also have the obligation to make sure that their comment is fair and reasonable. In this case that standard is clearly not met. Greg, you are commended on driving your business forward and creating jobs in a very challenging business environment. well done and keep it up!

  2. Arthur Says:

    Hi Greg, total absurd! Damn right to understand this scheme as a massive chance for some fresh graduates, or returning to job market to gain hands on experience with either current working climate/technology/environment etc you name it. Those who were unnecessarily advocating about your exploitation should be ashamed! Keep up the good work!

  3. Elke Says:

    Hi Greg, the job bridge initiative has its good and bad sides. I have to admit that I am also very reluctant with this scheme as it is open to abuse by companies who want a ‘cheap’ workforce. And I am not saying that Fuzion is one of them. As you said, the scheme gives smaller companies the opportunity to continue with their business while giving people out of work the opportunity to stay within work and gathering more experience. I don’t believe that the comments were directed at you but at job bridge and that they just used the wrong approach to communicate it.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Thanks Elke – many of the comments were damaging to Fuzion. I’ve read them – we’ve been called a few quite nasty things. This is not how we do business

  4. Pat Phelan Says:

    But Greg, I have the exact same outlook on life, I run multiple events, invite people to mix (think you have attended a few) charge nothing or no one and do it mostly to bring Cork together, I have absolutely no benefit personal or professional.
    I have a huge issue with job bridge, huge
    If Fuzion is going as well as it all looks to be, why not actually create a job?
    This is not creating a job, not until you do
    People can say this leads to jobs, maybe it does but you get a person for free (free to me is 50 euro as that will be their costs for food and transport)
    So a person from the dole works for you a successful business for free for 6 months
    I just think its exploitation not on a successful companies like Fuzion of course but on the human being who has to work for 6 months for zero salary.
    We have 3 interns here at Trustev for the summer, 2 third level and one just entering third level
    All are being paid a full working weeks wages, they will be exploited enough later in life by schemes like this and made work for experience but no money. These 3 young people are working with a global business on the edge of major breakthroughs, they still must be paid
    Let us not move back to the horrible days of the 80’s and FAS job schemes, these must be a bit before your time but I remember them well
    A minimum working wage for all
    Not the dole plus 50 quid

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Pat – thanks for your opinion. Jobbridge is a legitimate scheme built for a very specific purpose. It has allowed us to bring in interns and train them into fully fledged PR people – 3 new jobs have resulted with Fuzion plus one outside Fuzion (by us giving her experience). I have no issue with the scheme and applaud any initiative that is designed to create jobs – if it is grasped with the right spirit it should work. Please note we do employ other people as well!

      Could you use it to accelerate your expansion and employment plan in your business?

      However, can I make the point that your views about the JobBridge scheme do not entitle you to make damaging comments about Fuzion on Twitter, a very public forum – you have a large following online and this is quite damaging to us. You have tried to create a clear impression that we are operating poor business practices, which is not the case.

      I would request that this is addressed in some way.


  5. Claire Says:

    If you are actually creating jobs where people are coming off the dole then you are the exception to the jobbridge rule. If only more employers were to follow your actions!!

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Claire – thanks for reading and your feedback. I have been receiving great feedback from people about it but others say otherwise. It all depends on the behaviour of the employer and the performance of the person who has been taken on. It has the potential to do the job intended.

    • E Donoghue Says:

      I share Claire’s concerns. Like many ‘Government Initiatives’ (surely the ultimate oxymoron!) it is wide open to abuse. I have a problem with the concept of expecting people to work for nothing (and €50 a week amounts to less then nothing in many cases as it wouldn’t cover basic costs)
      While I accept that Greg’s intentions are honourable and laud his achievements to date, I’m quite sure that a lot of companies are taking advantage of this (and similar) schemes to find a cheap source of labour without any intention of creating a full-time job.
      I recently heard of a graduate being offered a 2 year internship on a similar basis to JobBridge. For this reason I (and I feel a lot of other people) have serious concerns about these ‘Initiatives’. Apart from the risk of exploitation, I would also question the effects of these schemes in what is already a depressed jobs market.
      I feel that the Government would do much better to give companies financial assistance (some up front) to create new jobs. I don’t have the time or energy to design such schemes but I’m quite sure that there are well paid public servants who could do so if they put their minds to it. I suppose what I’m really saying (to the powers that be) is : Could do a lot better.

      • Greg Canty Says:

        The scheme has worked well in Fuzion – I welcome anyone to pop in some day and learn about how it has worked for us here.

  6. letsgoplacesnow Says:

    Q. Can you only get a job bridge if you have been receiving social welfare?

  7. letsgoplacesnow Says:

    Not saying what you at Fuzion are doing is wrong in any way, shape or form. However, the scheme encourages businesses to take graduates from social welfare queues rather than posting a regular job post for recent graduates. Many of these businesses have the finance available to recruit traditionally but why would they bother if they can get graduates at a ridiculously low wage rate for up to 9 months. I personally could not afford to take a job bridge position if it suited me as my financial commitments would not be nearly covered. I unfortunately would be forced to emigrate like many other graduates. Which ultimately is a waste of tax payers money. Scheme is suitable for small businesses but larger multinationals are exploiting graduates. I am glad your job bridges gained full employment in Ireland from the scheme and hope they are now reaping the financial rewards they deserve.

  8. Darren Bayliss Says:

    I’m amazed by the level of negativity people aim towards Job Bridge and god forbid that these individuals should every find themselves in a situation that they need to look at the scheme itself because people tend to have such long memories in Ireland.

    I personally have been involved in two organisations in the past where we couldn’t get approval for additional headcount spend but have gained approval to take someone on the JobBridge Scheme with clear targets for them and i to meet which resulted in four people gaining full time employment before the 6 month term was completed so if you haven’t tried it don’t knock it i say!!

  9. pat phelan Says:

    I have never mentioned fuzion in any way or tweet and certainly not by name, its you that has done that
    i think you need to read my tweets again
    you have completely not addressed any of my points so i will consider the matter closed.
    i find the quasi legal comments quite scary from you and will refrain from commenting any more on here
    i am amazed that for a large pr company with the strength of fuzion that you are unable to allay any of my fears in any way on people working for free for 6-9 months??
    whether it leads to a job or not

    have a wonderful long weekend

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Pat – in all fairness you know and I know that you were pointing your misdirected anger about Jobbridge at Fuzion seasoned with a fairly substantial pop – have at peep at your carefully crafted hashtags.

      I don’t follow you and I had other people drawing my attention to your posts. They seemed to figure out quite easily that it was Fuzion you were having a pop at.

      If you look clearly at our post and your retweet it doesn’t take a genius to realise who were having a cheap shot at – I’m struggling to see the motivation behind your post?

      I’ve fairly well explained what Jobbridge has done for Fuzion and the team members who have come through the initiative – if that’s not enough for you I’m sorry. I’m not on the business of “allaying your fears”.

      re: Legal – yes we are a PR company and we take our reputation seriously. I consider Pat Phelan with his online following (and the subsequent retweets) making out that Fuzion are cheapskates very damaging to our reputation – if you can’t see that I’d re-consider my whole strategy about posting on social media platforms. I’ve also noticed that you still haven’t left it alone and seem determined to make this a deeper issue – I am quite convinced that you are trying to damage Fuzion/me in some way and I would ask you to politely refrain.

      Greg – when I say #Positvity I mean it

  10. irishdevdotcom Says:

    Good work Greg, don’t let the buggers get you down.

  11. irishdevdotcom Says:

    There’s another entry for interns – foreign students. But God forbid, be careful though, it wouldn’t do to be accused of giving the internships to non-nationals now, would it….?

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Barry – we have been offered a lot of these as well. They would be “handy” if we just wanted some free labour for a while. I want to make all of the people who participate full time. Thankfully it’s worked out that way so far!

  12. irishdevdotcom Says:

    Wondering if people’s opinion changes when consideration is given for companies abroad hiring Irish people on internships?

  13. Manor West Retail Pk (@ManorWestRetail) Says:

    Hi Greg
    As a client of Fuzion Communications, I could not attribute such cynical motives to a positive and fair minded organisation such as your own.
    Jean who you retained off the back of a Jobbridge internship, was a PR account executive of the highest calibre.
    Jean was an exceptionally talented PR exec, and if other similar talents be obtained through internship in the future, keep at it.
    Keep on truckin!

  14. thelimericktest Says:


    I am just writing in relation to the whole discrimination thing. Jobbridge discriminates against people with certain disabilities, and you are using this scheme. this is a fact, not an insult.

    when I started my media related degree in 2009 jobbridge did not exist. i did my last final last week and find that the internships open to me in 09 are now all jobbridge.

    There is a certain value to some internships, but they need to be open to all.

    You had , and still have the option, to use the WPP scheme which everyone can apply for. it is not perfect either but it is more open than JobBridge.

    I am sure your charitable endeavours are most noble, however throwing a few euros at charitable organisations has limited success. what would be more effective would be to not exclude highly skilled individuals by using a scheme they are ineligible for because of their disability.

    You made the claim that people dont know anything about jobbridge I can assure you the contrary is true in my own case. Since 2011 I have campaigned on two fronts. the first to remove the clearly crap internships from the scheme (cleaners, shop assistants and taxi drivers etc) and the second to make the remaining positions open to everyone, not only disabled but widows forced to become breadwinners after a bereavement as well as those not in receipt of any welfare.

    That is all I have to say on the matter

    • Greg Canty Says:

      If this is the same person as Mr Squid I have had very reasonable conversations about Jobbridge. I suggested at the end of each “back and forth” that you should lobby for changes. I have never heard of the WPP scheme you mentioned – I might have a peep at that – thanks for bringing it to my intention.

      It was suggested I felt that Fuzion were discriminatory by the post on twitter – “@GregCantyFuzion using a scheme that discriminates against people with certain disabilities. #jobbridge“.

      We do a lot more than “throw a few euros at charitable organisations“.

      Please stop saying things about Fuzion that you know nothing about – it makes me not listen to you.

      Please continue with the reasoned arguments and campaigning and not the opposite – you will have a lot more success that way.

  15. Franco De Bonis Says:

    Greg, I am really sorry that this has happened to you. I don’t know your company, so I can’t say whether criticism of your company in this regard is unfounded or not. But I have followed your posts on various social media platforms and you seem genuine enough.

    However, personally I believe the Job Bridge scheme is the most positive scheme for employment ever conceived in Ireland. Yes, I own a business and yes of course I benefit from the “free” services of interns, but it is far from a one-way street. The people we bring on-board are not marketing graduates that we can exploit, but people who are smart and want to get involved in the world of marketing.

    Because of this we invest a great deal of time in teaching them and getting them up to speed. Through this process they learn skills in 9 months that I have spent my whole career learning, so by the end of their internship they are valuable to us and like you, we have hired a total of 3 people from this excellent scheme. Even if we didn’t hire them, they would leave us with a glowing recommendation and skills that would make them valuable to other companies.

    At least one of these people would not have been given the opportunity without this scheme and I know that they are grateful for the opportunity it gave them.

    How sad that some companies would exploit such a valuable resource and sadder still that others would fling accusations without knowing the detail within the company in question.

    Best Of Luck.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Thanks for your post Franco and thanks for reading my other material. I’m glad the scheme has worked out for you and your team member.

      It is sad seeing negative stuff coming your way when you are trying to be the total opposite … #Positvity

  16. Dave Says:

    I’m sorry Greg, but I think JobBridge is exploitative of our recession, and the fact that we have so many unemployed.

    I believe that someone should be paid a fair wage for the work that they do, how can anyone disagree with that?

    If it’s about seeing if a candidate is the right fit for your organisation why not hire them properly, but make it clear that they must serve a probationary period?

    There are plenty of experienced people out there who need work and lost their jobs through no fault of their own. And yet rather than hire these people and pay them fairly, JobBridge means that positions that they could apply for are instead filled by inexperienced interns willing to settle for a €50 top up on their dole. It’s a race to the bottom that essentially asks people how low they will undercut each other at a chance of maybe getting fulltime work somewhere down the line.

    You say it’s a win-win and in one way I agree. It’s a win for businesses who get free labour (let’s call a spade a spade, that’s what it is) and a win for the government who get to massage unemployment figures. It can hardly be considered a win, however, for someone who is doing as much work as a fully paid employee, but only getting an extra €50 a month.

    What’s worse is this growing culture of “positivity” within the SME sector, whereby people are expected to buy in to the consensus but are labelled negative if they dont. I’ve nothing against positive thinking, but this blanket ideology that criticism is unwelcome or somehow counterproductive is actually quite negative! We need our entrepreneurs to question the consensus, to go against the grain.

    Ultimately I’m glad to see that you have hired interns that have worked for you – my question is why not hire them from the start? Hire paid interns who earn a fair wage but are made aware that they are serving a probationary period? Surely that’s a win-win-win?
    Win – you get a new employee who, if things dont work out, you can let go.
    Win- the government has another person off the dole
    Win – someone gets at the very least a temporary, paid position, with the possibility of a permanent position if they get stuck in and show they have the work ethic and skills it takes to make the job a success.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Dave – thanks for such a detailed post.

      Those on Jobbridge get €50 a week extra and not a month as you stated.

      Quite honestly We don’t hire that person from the start because we don’t have the business for them and we can’t afford them – the scheme has allowed us to take someone on ahead of schedule, give them the benefit of real world training and hope that the business will follow so that we can employ them.

      In each case with us we treat the person no different to any member of the team except that they need to be trained – in each case they have been made permanent or it has helped them get a full time job elsewhere because they now have that vital missing ingredient “experience”, which is a major stumbling block to getting on the jobs ladder.

      In our view, operated properly it is a great scheme as it is helping create jobs, provide us with the potential to expand and get someone unemployed up and running. You mentioned that if the person doesn’t work out we can let them go – thankfully that has not happened with us as we choose each person carefully but I’m sure it could happen as it does in every normal recruitment situation.

      Not having such a positive scheme would be very detrimental for everyone concerned.

      I can’t believe your comment: “What’s worse is this growing culture of “positivity” within the SME sector” – are you for real, is this really what you are thinking.

      Christ all mighty …we may as well all pack up and go on the dole if we didn’t have that …what do you do?

      Dave, I have to leave you on this ….

      #POSITIVITY – I would be long, dead and buried if I didn’t get up with that belief and mindset every morning!

      • Dave Says:


        I think you’re missing my point (and I thought it slightly unfair that you tweeted one quote from my entire post out of context. Half a sentence isn’t a fair reflection on my point.)

        I’m not having a go at people with a positive attitude. I believe the word positivity has been misappropriated from its original meaning. To many in the SME sector the word “positivity” means the prevailing consensus. The word is applied to this consensus to the point that to stray from the consensus or approach this with some critical thought you are going against “positivity” – therefore are being negative.

        You picked me up (and tweeted) only half the sentence I wrote on that word. Read it again.

        What’s worse is this growing culture of “positivity” within the SME sector, whereby people are expected to buy in to the consensus but are labelled negative if they dont.

        I deliberately put quotation marks around the word. I am not critical of positive attitudes, we all need that to set and achieve our goals. What I do not like is how the word has come to have a new meaning, to support widespread thinking and marginalise criticism.

        Ireland is suffering now because there were too many people during the Tiger years who blindly accepted the status quo. Those offering warnings were dismissed as being “negative.”

        The group think mentality that applies “positivity” to the status quo thinking are immediately painting any dissenters to the consensus as negative.

        Our recent history shows the dangers of this.

  17. Julia Says:

    Very childish carry-on! Many people my age have been delighted to do the JobBridge scheme rather than just being on the dole doing nothing, so fair play for offering a position.
    The only thing I’d say is that the fact that this was an internship was not 100% clear on your Facebook page and website until you read the entire page, but you clearly said ‘intern’ on Twitter so everyone would want to calm down!

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback Julia – none of our people have complained and certainly not those we interviewed this week all looking to get a breakthrough in PR.

  18. thelimericktest Says:


    This is squid, a quirk of the blog means I have to log into a account hence the different nane .

    Lobbying politicians is fine and all, and this is ongoing, however the atitude of companies has to change too. There is a sense of hypocracy in the likes of Enable Ireland for example offering work experience to all but disabled

    In your own case there is nothing stopping you from using WPP for training.

    As for positivity, I guess the word is sometimes seen as a euphamism, like competitiveness.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Francis – can you publish a link to the WPP programme here? I have never heard of it. Can I suggest that you should start promoting it from your own platforms?

  19. Holly Fawcett (@HollyFawcett) Says:

    Hi Greg – congrats on expanding your team, any expansion is an achievement in tough times! We are doing precisely the same. While only one of our interns qualified for JobBridge, we have three interns (all being paid a weekly stipend to ensure it doesn’t cost them to come to work) and we plan to take on all three full time after their three-month internships. For SME’s, internships can be an excellent way to expand and grow, as well as provide invaluable experience to those who want to get into our industry with no foot in the door.

    It’s a shame that so many companies looked to JobBridge to increase headcount where an internship was not appropriate. Companies like SuperValu and Oxigen Waste were banned from JobBridge because they made redundant fully-paid employees to replace them with 9-month internships (essentially free labour). Rule of thumb: if you would have paid them full time before the recession, then pay them now.

    As for @SquidLimerick, I’ve had him troll on me a good bit too when we interviewed Joan Burton about JobBridge. He’s obviously passionate about fighting for equal opportunities for people with disabilities, and he’s right – JobBridge (perhaps completely unknowingly) is not available for those who are visually impaired, so at least he has a point. It’s up to employers to ensure that disability discrimination doesn’t enter their workplace though.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      thanks Holly for the insight and the feedback – great to see that you are doing so well. As you say it is horrible to see people abusing the scenario – it’s a good scheme but there are always people who will abuse something, that often ruins it for everyone else.

      @squidlimerick needs to learn how to make a point without attacking people – he just turns people off and his point ends up being lost in the process.

  20. writerlyderv Says:

    If it helps, the first guy is a really bad speller, who misuses the apostrophe appallingly. It is not Citog’s, but Citeogs. Hard to take anyone seriously who would take a bludgeon to the English or Irish language.

  21. Ignorance is not always bliss: the myth of “positive thinking” | Francis Dunne Says:

    […] On Friday, Cork based businessman, Greg Canty of Fuzion PR wrote a critique of those people who were critical of his company’s use of the JobBridge internship scheme. (link) […]

  22. phelanbrian Says:

    Personally Greg as a student who killed himself looking for a marketing placement for college Jobs Bridge almost destroyed my chances….I wrote this article months ago…… but I have no problem with employers using it….but the gov needs to look at the statistics and see that jobsbridge hasn’t created many new actuallly means students cant get relevant work experience..then they come out of college wait 3 months going straight onto social welfare before they can apply for a jobsbrrige internship which they wouldn’t need if they had been able to get one through college in the first place…..lets face it jobsbridge is never going to be enough to retrain a e.g former builder/plumber compared to someone who has studied for five years in college..anyway best of luck with the intern I hope you pick a recent graduate

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Brian – thanks for the feedback. I agree that Jobbridge isn’t going to be a magic bullet that will solve everything but it is another one of those positive initiatives that keeps teh wheels turning, chins up and on occasion should create the right job opportunity for someone. Our new girl started last week – she is terrific and all things being equal she will get a full time job with Fuzion.

      Have a great week ..

  23. Gerry Owens Says:

    Hi Greg, empty cans make noise, just noise. Ignore them, keep up the good work.

  24. Greg Canty Says:

    Update : we have now successfully filled the PR intern role.

    No apology was received for the scathing comments made about Fuzion by people with online “expertise” who should know better.

  25. The blog about blogging | Greg Canty Fuzion Blog Says:

    […] of these posts was about the Jobbridge scheme and the other was about companies undoing the good by […]

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