Government failing young people - Adams
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has today described the government’s Youth Guarantee Scheme as ‘woefully inadequate’ and a ‘disaster’ in respect of providing jobs, training and education for unemployed young people.
The Taoiseach is in Paris today speaking to other EU leaders on this issue.
Mr. Adams said:
“The Tánaiste’s claim of an increase in the percentage of young people in employment ignores the fact that 1700 mainly young people are emigrating each week to join the 300,000 who have left in the last four years. The fact is that there 18,000 less young people in paid employment today that when this government took office.’
“This was one of the government’s self-proclaimed ‘big ideas’ during its EU Presidency and yet it invested a miserable €14 million into the Youth Guarantee Scheme. While the Taoiseach is in Paris talking up the government’s Youth Guarantee Scheme the reality here is that it is falling apart.”
The Sinn Féin leader continued:
“In October’s 2014 budget the government took almost a third of the job seekers allowance from young people under 25. 20,000 young people were cut by €44 a week. The government claimed that this was necessary to encourage young people into employment.
“The government committed to investing in the Youth Guarantee Scheme to provide jobs, training and education within four months. However, a leaked document from the Dept. of Social Protection has warned that the government cannot keep to its own commitments.
“The International Labour Organisation has estimated that a decent youth guarantee like that implemented in Sweden costs approximately €6,600 per participant. The government’s response will see it spend a miserly €260 on each young person.
“The government’s Youth Guarantee Scheme is woefully inadequate and actually encourages youth emigration. The government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2014 sets seven priorities. None of these reference youth unemployment or emigration.
“This is a real indicator of the low priority the government places on youth unemployment and emigration.”