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Government must implement a youth jobs fund – Doherty

8 April, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Senator and spokesperson for the ‘Jobs for the unemployed’ campaign Pearse Doherty has today called on the government to immediately implement a youth jobs fund in light of the huge numbers of young people unemployed.

He said:

“There are currently 84,991 young people under 25 on the live register. This is an indictment of this government’s failure to implement any sort of a structure to deal with youth unemployment. Many of these young people are college graduates; they are skilled workers and an absolute asset to the future recovery of our economy.

“The government had the opportunity to implement a strategy for getting these young people back to work. They didn’t do it. Instead they implemented cuts to social welfare which saw many of these young people having to try and scrape by on €100 a week. They did this to push them into jobs and training which simply did not exist.

“It is an absolute imperative that the government and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Batt O’Keeffe, act now and act fast to implement a youth jobs fund. In my party’s document “No Job? No Future? No Way!” we recommended this as a priority. Such a fund, we have found, would create 20,000 new jobs at a cost of €500 million – mere pennies in contrast with the €22 billion currently being used to prop up the banks and their corrupt followers.

“We in Sinn Féin are serious about job creation. We believe that there is an alternative and we have set out that alternative through our ‘Jobs for the Unemployed’ campaign. We believe that emigration is not a solution. Cutting dole payments is not a solution. Cutting or driving down wages is not a solution. The issue of youth unemployment isn’t just about tackling a problem, but rather it is a matter of accessing an untapped potential and using that potential to build a better future.

“Our young people are crucial to that future. The government must implement a youth jobs fund immediately if they are serious about tackling rising youth unemployment.”

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