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Government deliberately ambiguous with policy and youth unemployment figures – Reilly

29 January, 2015

Sinn Fein Youth Affairs Spokesperson, Senator Kathryn Reilly, has stressed that the government are being deliberately ambiguous with policy and figures around youth unemployment in their Action Plan for Jobs 2015.

Speaking today Senator Reilly announced:

“While today’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015 is welcome, it is unfortunate to note that the government has done nothing to address existing problems with their polices. In fact, as they are now in election mode, all they seem concerned with is spinning a story of a recovery which is far from the reality on the ground.

“Some of the government’s initiatives outlined in the plan they look great in theory, however, the implementation of these initiatives is impossible due to other conflicting policies.

“For instance, the JobPlus scheme is a great plan as it rewards employers who hire long-term unemployed people from the live register. However, the reality is that the positives of the JobPlus scheme are counteracted by the JobBridge scheme, which offers free labour to employers.

“These schemes are at odds with each other, and Sinn Fein has continuously called for the immediate closure of the JobBridge scheme and its replacement with a new tailored scheme with a narrower scope and focus.”

“Furthermore, the governments continued rhetoric that the Youth Guarantee will be the panacea to youth unemployment is in contrast with the available evidence. I have outlined the insufficiencies of the scheme on many occasions and a recent Syndicat Trade Union report has also highlighted the inadequacies of the Youth Guarantee’s implementation by this government.”

“I find it abhorrent that the government can casually throw out figures outlining a reduction in youth unemployment without any contextualisation of the narrative of the past four years as a whole. You cannot gain a full picture of a reduction in unemployment in Ireland, youth or otherwise, by only examining a composite part of the narrative. 

"The unfortunate reality is that 165,300 young people have emigrated in the last five years and there are more than 10,000 less young people in work now compared with when the government took office. These are the facts, and unless the government acknowledges this there is no hope that any constructive policies will be created to address youth unemployment.”

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