Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has stated that government hype about job creation is difficult for young people to understand when so many don’t see a change.
Speaking in the Seanad this evening, she said:
“The real concern is the types of jobs you are supporting and lack of real investment in opportunities for young people.
“If we look at the spread and quality of jobs under your Government, the major growth appears in low paid sectors. CSO data last week revealed that weekly take home pay is falling. The largest jobs growth has been in sectors such as hospitality, which incidentally, is the lowest paid sector.
“The Border region, Midlands and South East still lag behind the state average Growth in technical jobs.
“People do want to work – the jobs growth in self-employed has resulted in 63,500 additional jobs.
“However, long-term unemployment continues to be at 60% of all unemployed.
“We have hugely high levels of youth unemployment. The CSO figures shockingly revealed that over the last two years, 76,300 under 34s left the labour market. With ten people leaving the State every hour, the vast majority of these young people will already have emigrated.
"When will the green shoots of recovery trickle down to young people? In my conversations with youth groups and youth organisations over the past few months, the view expressed again and again is that they are a generation being left behind. From Gortahork to Cork, Belfast, Ballinamore to Dublin, so many young people feel emigration is the only way out. They see no jobs, relevant placements or facilities for them at home.
“At the end of this year, your Government plans to take another €2 billion from the economy. The bulk of your austerity to date – from property tax, to welfare cuts, has hit the low and middle-income earning families the hardest.
“This in turn has hit the local economy and resulted in job losses.
“Add another €2 billion of targeted measures to that, such as water tax, and I do not know how you expect to see growth in the domestic economy.
“Any talk of recovery has to start by focusing on the ability of middle and low-earning families to consume and that can be done by investing in them in the next budget. It also means investing in young people properly, and creating real opportunities for them here so that emigration isn't the only option."