Mid Ulster Sinn Féin MLA, Francie Molloy has emphasised the need to tackle youth unemployment and has called for the urgent implementation of the EU 'Youth Jobs Guarantee'.
Mr Molloy who was in Brussels last week as a member of the Committee of the Regions said,
“There are more than 5 and a half million young people across the EU not able to find work. Across the European Union, 22% of people between the ages of 15-24 are jobless, a figure that swells to as much as 50% in Greece and Spain. Long-term youth unemployment reveals an even starker reality: over 30% of young people have been unemployed for more than twelve consecutive months.
“Martina Anderson MEP has lobbied for the use of the European Social Fund to support programmes aimed at tackling this problem. The global economic downturn has meant that young workers can often only access precarious, temporary jobs or traineeships which offer little real prospect of career progression.
"Many young people now see emigration as the only option open to them so we must ensure that deliberate and determined interventions are put in place to give young people choices. The ‘Youth Jobs guarantee’ aims to ensure that member states guarantee every young person under 25 a job, training or educational placement within a set number of months of becoming unemployed.”
“Sinn Féin as members of the GUE/NGL group urged the Commission and the European Council to dedicate a sufficiently financed specific fund to create a true ‘youth guarantee’ which would secure the future of Europe's youth by guaranteeing them real rights to qualified, adequately paid and stable employment and social security, the right to housing, and the establishment of an ‘autonomy allowance’ mechanism in the context of a European minimum wage.
"With these objectives as a basis, Sinn Féin will campaign for the realisation of this kind of project across Ireland together with young people, their associations and unions."