Álanna Campbell - youth jobs - Ard Fheis
A very relevant and current issue affecting our young people is the state of unemployment which is constant and unrelenting throughout our 32 county island. This is a serious issue which is affecting both Ireland and its young people.
Young people attend university, spending thousands of pounds on degrees and education in the hopes of increasing their potential job opportunities. The sad fact is that they are not able to achieve these hopes, dreams, aspirations and jobs in their own land and are forced to emigrate, moving to other countries such as Australia, America, Canada and bringing with them their skills, knowledge and energy.
Young people believe they have a better chance of employment and a better chance of a good quality of life if they leave Ireland, and it is out of necessity that they emigrate, many sad at the thought of leaving friends, family and their home, but knowing they have no other choice. It is the last option, but for many it is the only option.
When looking at unemployment figures we need to realise that this does not give us a clear and full picture. Rather, these figures are manipulated in an attempt to minimize awareness of the problem and do not take into consideration the many young people who have emigrated in the search for work.
People need only look at their own communities and towns to see the lack of jobs and everyone knows of a young person who has had to leave Ireland in the search of employment. We are losing some of our best skilled and trained professionals to other countries who are benefiting from them.
We need to see a change. We need to see an increase in job creation. And we need it now. This must be at the forefront of the agenda in both the 6 counties and 26 counties. We cannot afford to lose any more of our young people and they should not be forced to leave our country. We need to make Ireland attractive, prosperous and successful. Young people are not work-shy, they are not lazy, they want and need jobs and it is up to Ireland to provide for them.