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Vague talk on jobs for young people not enough – Reilly

24 September, 2012

Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Youth Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly has said Minister Burton’s vague talk on a youth jobs guarantee is not enough at this time.

Senator Reilly was responding to reports that a Youth Jobs Guarantee would be launched during the Irish Presidency of the EU next year.

“Minister Burton’s vague talk of a Youth Jobs Guarantee smacks of opportunism and talk where action is needed. The fact remains that this government has been entirely inactive on a youth jobs plan as called for by Sinn Féin. In the entire 126 pages of the government’s jobs action plan young people are mentioned only twice. That is the true measure of how much emphasis this government puts on finding jobs for our young people.

“Now we hear of a plan to use the Irish Presidency to launch a youth jobs guarantee. The last time we heard of EU action on youth jobs was when President Barroso announced he was sending an action team to Ireland. The result we now know of that was very little because Ireland has already spent its structural funds allocation.

“We can only hope that this time action will result. Another press release is not what the thousand people a week emigrating need. The inability of Minister Burton to state how much this will cost and how it will be delivered can only promote scepticism among young people.”

Reilly, the youngest member of the Oireachtas, continued:

“Sinn Fein would support an ambitious and practical action plan on youth jobs but there is no evidence that this announcement by Minister Burton heralds any such action. A recent ILO report on the possibility of a youth jobs guarantee put the cost of a jobs action plan in Ireland at 435€ million.

“The European Parliament has called for 10% of the European Social Fund to be made available for such a scheme. During the period 2007-2013, €375 million was received by Ireland through the ESF.

“So how does Minister Burton propose this gap be made up when her government is hell bent on austerity? I will this week be calling on the Minister to come to Seanad Éireann to present the details of this plan and to prove that there is any substance at all to her press announcement.” ENDS

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