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Will Youth Guarantee pilot scheme leave youth behind? – Reilly

21 January, 2014

Speaking today in the Seanad on Matters for the Adjournment, Senator Kathryn Reilly asked for an update on the Youth Guarantee Scheme and asked if the draft plan had been approved. She also put it to the Minister for Social Protection that the pilot Ballymun scheme, in its current form, will be leaving behind young people who are not on the Live Register and asked would that premise be replicated in the further rolling out of the Youth Guarantee nationwide.  
She said:
“Minister I am aware that the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan was forwarded to the EU Commission at the end of December and it is my understanding that you are currently making arrangements for its publication. The Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans clarify how the partnerships between public authorities, employment services, education and training institutions, social partners, youth organisations and other stakeholders will be organised.

Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee stated that:

‘The starting point for delivering the Youth Guarantee to a young person should be the registration with an employment service, and for those NEETs who are not registered with an employment service, Member States should define a corresponding starting point to deliver the Youth Guarantee within the same four month time- frame.’

She said: 
“I’m bringing this particular point up after consultations that I have had in Ballymun with various groups in respect of the pilot project.  One concern raised was the lack of consultation that took place with the local youth groups in the planning of the pilot scheme.  There was a feeling that very little was established between the Youth Guarantee implementation group and the local youth groups in how to best achieve positive outcomes for young people. 
“Something even more startling was an issue raised by one of the service providers of the Ballymun pilot who informed me that the pilot was only aimed at young people on the Live Register. How are you proposing to deal with those not on the Live Register? Are you not running the risk of proposing a scheme for some young people but not all? This is inherently unfair and short-sighted. 
“Given we continue to hear of upswings in employment it’s essential that young people are provided with the necessary education, training and apprenticeship opportunities so that they are job- ready for any jobs that become available in this state. This government needs to ensure there is real career development of any person on the Youth Guarantee scheme. It is not good enough to put people on any old apprenticeship or job that will not build towards a sustainable career in the future. Otherwise, the Youth Guarantee scheme will play out as a box ticking exercise to get people off the Live Register only in the short term. There is a danger that without proper supports, whether they be basic literacy supports, mentoring, skill sampling, or others, many young people will be left behind.
“The Youth Guarantee has to deliver quality places and progression for all young job seekers, not just those who are registered with the employment services.”

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