Youth unemployment remains far too high – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Maurice Quinlivan TD, today said that youth unemployment remains far too high and more investment in apprenticeships in Ireland could help get the 24,951 young people who remain on the live register, into the workforce.
Speaking today the Limerick City TD said;
“Although the overall unemployment figures are substantially down, which is very welcome, the level of youth unemployment remains far too high and the government needs to invest in getting more young people into the workforce.
“The Central Statistics Office recorded 24,951 under 25s on the live register in November 2017, with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection recording 10,624 of these young people as long term unemployed, as having been on the Live Register for one year or more.
“Many of these young people found themselves unemployed through no fault of their own. Some having graduated secondary school, found they were unable to afford to go onto third level, considering Ireland has the second most expensive third level fees across Europe, and accommodation for college has become unaffordable for most.
“Others who had the opportunity to take up tertiary education, graduated only to find no job opportunities due to the economic circumstances.
“The government must do more to provide these young people with the support they need to get into the workforce.
“Sinn Féin believes investing in apprenticeships can help address the high level of youth unemployment. This method of education and training will give many young people an opportunity to start a rewarding career, whilst also equipping Ireland with the skilled workers it needs for growing and emerging industries.
“We have set out a five year plan on apprenticeships that aims to substantially increase the number of apprenticeship places and greatly broaden the type of apprenticeship programmes available, to include new areas not previously available such as green technology, hospitality and retail.
“I was disappointed to learn that the government’s investment in apprenticeships for 2018 has been cut substantially, compared to what was intended earlier in the year.
“In May, I got a response from a Parliamentary Question outlining an estimated apprenticeship budget for 2018 of €135.3 million.
“A subsequent response I got to a new Parliamentary Question outlined that the actual budget for 2018 will be €122 million, over €13 million less in funding.
“Investing in apprenticeships can help address the high level of youth unemployment, and I would encourage the government to increase investment in this area to help get more young people off the live register and into the workforce.”