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Senator Reilly raises worrying drop in Irish youth employment with EU Commission

30 June, 2015 - by Kathryn Reilly


Sinn Féin Senator and Youth Affairs Spokesperson, Kathryn Reilly, today met with the European Commission in Brussels to discuss high youth unemployment levels and the worrying drop in the number of young people in employment in Ireland at the moment.

Speaking after the meeting Senator Reilly said:

“It was a very informative meeting but this process has become incredibly infuriating. For the past four years I have been raising the issue of high levels of youth unemployment in Ireland and huge drops in both the number of people in the labour force and in the number of young people working in Ireland.

“I also raised the issue of the mass emigration of young Irish citizens over the past number of years and the negative effect this has had on Irish society and the future effects it will have on the Irish economy.

“While the Commission can be understanding of such issues they do not appear to have the appetite to tackle the problem.

“The Youth Guarantee, which was heralded as the panacea to youth unemployment throughout Europe, was underfunded from the outset and discriminatory in who could participate in it, excluding young people with disabilities.

“Furthermore, I put the figures to members of the Commission regarding Ireland. A drop of 64,000 young people in the labour force since the Fine Gael and Labour government came to power, and 29,800 less young people working in Ireland for the same period.”

Senator Reilly concluded by stating:

“In no uncertain terms I warned the Commission that failure to tackle the problem of decreasing levels of youth employment in Ireland would have catastrophic effects on Irish society and the economy in the future.

“It is crucial that we move towards investing in our young people, in the creation of quality jobs in a long-term perspective.

“There has to be the realisation by the European Commission and the Irish government that immediate and intelligent investment in Ireland’s young people will reap unquantifiable rewards in future years.”

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