A further 1,000 places are being added to the JobBridge National Internship Scheme, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has announced.
Minister Burton said the scheme has exceeded expectations since it went live at the start of July last year.
As well as increasing the number of placements, the Minister has also announced that people in receipt of Disability Allowance or a One Parent Family Payment will now qualify for the scheme for the first time.
In the 10 months since the plan was launched, some 6,840 nternships have started - well above the initial target of 5,000.
Two thirds of interns have so far been placed with private companies, another fifth are in the public sector, and the remainder are involved in the Community and Voluntary sector.
Small companies have taken on more than half of the interns so far, and 46% of people involved are in the 26 to 35 age group.
Minister Burton said a variety of measures are in place to ensure the integrity of the scheme, and her department is involved in monitoring the internships.
However she added that she has also commissioned a full independent evaluation of the scheme.