Youth employment ignored again by government
Over the past two years, government’s action plans for jobs have failed to address the crisis in youth unemployment and lack of opportunity. The government is developing a plan for next year and has failed again to make youth employment a priority.
Senator Kathryn Reilly, Sinn Féin spokesperson for youth affairs said:
“The government recently invited proposals for the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and identified seven key themes for consideration. Despite increasing emigration and decreasing employment the needs of young people do not feature as a key theme.
“For too long the government has ignored the crisis is youth employment and the lack of opportunity for our young people. Previous Jobs Action plans make scant reference to youth, despite the government claims of promoting a young, dynamic and highly-skilled workforce.
“The record of the government speaks for itself every week 1,700 people emigrate, of which, 70% are in their twenties. Since the government came to power, there are 18,000 less young people in employment.
“The government needs to recognise and act on the crisis facing this generation of young people. The minister needs to ensure that youth employment is a theme and key priority of the forthcoming Action Plan for Jobs.
“Senator Reilly also said that given the demand for a National Youth Strategy amongst young people and their representative organisations, she would be putting together proposals on the issue.
“In the recent report for the Oireachtas EU Affairs Committee, for which I was a rapporteur, there was a recommendation for a dedicated section in the next Action Plan on Jobs to address youth unemployment.
“These calls have been echoed by the USI, ICTU and the ISSU in their Locked Out document. I plan to do a wide consultation on this, with a view to putting together proposals on a youth jobs strategy that I hope to present to the minister for inclusion in the 2014 plan. Similarly, I hope the relevant Oireachtas committee will back this call and we will see youth unemployment firmly on the political agenda.”