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Action needed on youth unemployment

12 June, 2013 - by Kathryn Reilly


Sinn Féin youth affairs spokesperson, Senator Kathryn Reilly, has called for action from government on youth unemployment. The call was made in advance of a private members motion debate on the youth unemployment crisis in the Seanad, initiated by the Sinn Fein Seanad team.
Senator Reilly said: “The government is sleepwalking through the youth unemployment crisis. Now, 58,000 young people are officially unemployed. Many thousands more have emigrated or disengaged from employment services.
“Since Fine Gael and Labour took office the number of under-25s in the labour force has fallen by 34,500.
“Despite these stark figures the government has no plan to tackle the youth unemployment problem. In the Action Plan on Jobs launched in February youth unemployment hardly featured.
“Our private members motion, due to be debated today, calls on the government to urgently develop and resource a youth employment strategy.
“A central part of this strategy must be a high quality youth guarantee scheme that provides young people with an offer of employment, education, apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed.
“A youth guarantee scheme must be adequately funded, accessible to all, target those in greatest need and work in the interests of young people.
“We have heard enough rhetoric from this government about the jobs crisis. What young people need now is action.” ENDS


Wording of the motion:
This house notes that:
• 30.4% of under 25s were officially unemployed in 2012.
• This is the fifth highest rate of youth unemployment in the Eurozone, after Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
• Our youth unemployment rate has more than trebled since 2007.
• 53,800 under 25 were officially unemployed at the end of March 2013.
• The cost of youth employment to the exchequer is estimated to be €3.16bn annually.
• The number of young people in employment has fallen by 24,100 in the last 12 months.
• Since Fine Gael and Labour took office the number of under 25s in the labour force has fallen by 34,500.
• 31,181 under 25 emigrated in the year up to April 2012 .
• 18% of young people are not in education or employment or training, the 4th highest rate in the EU.
• Of the 333 actions listed in the 2013 Action Plan on Jobs only 4 relate to young people.
• The European Council Recommendation of February 2013 announcing a Youth Employment initiative with a fund of €6bn, while welcome, is not sufficiently resourced.
• The International Labour Organisation has called for an investment of €21bn EU wide to tackle youth unemployment.
• The proposed Youth Guarantee pilot project in Ballymun, while welcome, may not be up and running until 2014.
This house agrees that:
• The government is not doing enough to address the crisis of youth unemployment.
• The government must urgently develop and resource a youth employment strategy.
• A central part of this strategy must be a high quality youth guarantee scheme that provides young people with an offer of employment, education, apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed.
• The youth guarantee scheme must be adequately funded, accessible to all, target those in greatest need and work in the interests of young people.

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