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Sinn Féin candidate for Cork North West raises Youth Unemployment in European Parliament – Liadh Ní Riada MEP

2 July, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the contribution of Sinn Féin general election candidate Nigel Dennehy to the debate on youth unemployment in the European Parliament. Nigel Dennehy was in Brussels as part of an all-Ireland delegation on the issue that included young people, educators and employment experts.

Liadh Ní Riada MEP said:

“I was delighted that Nigel Dennehy raised this important issue in the European Parliament. He participated in a delegation on youth unemployment hosted by my colleague and Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan. Nigel is in touch with communities all across North and West Cork, and is well placed to articulate the concerns and issues that are felt in this part of the country.

“Young people in County Cork and across Ireland are often faced with a choice of extended unemployment or emigration. Those who do manage to find paying work do so in the context of low or zero-hour contracts, low pay and limited job security.

“Those that can't find work have few options when it comes to education and training, despite rhetoric and spin from Government. If we want to see a real and fair recovery in this country we will need to tackle this issue. A genuine effort from Government is needed, not more efforts at massaging the numbers.

“Rural Ireland is at a particular disadvantage, and the draining of our young people from parishes all over North and West Cork is heartbreaking for families and devastating for communities.

Nigel Dennehy said:  

“It was very worrying to hear the assessment given by trade union representatives, the European Youth Forum and the EU Commission -employment and entrepreneurship.

“When asked if any young person has obtained employment out of participation in the Youth Guarantee programme, the European Youth Forum representative was quite frank and replied that they had not.

“She said that a review carried out by the European Court of auditors in March stated that they have yet to see a single person that has got a job from the Youth Guarantee.

“This is widely evident here throughout our towns and villages from Ballincollig , Macroom, Millstreet right up to Newmarket Kanturk and Charleville.

“Many people on JobBridge and other schemes do their few months and simple end up back on the Job Benefit, sometimes without even receiving any training at all in the process.  

“We see young people in my constituency who manage to secure an apprenticeship. They pay huge fees in order to complete their apprenticeship. However, too many apprentices cannot do so because they cannot afford the fees.

“This government is badly letting down young people here in Cork North West and throughout the state. They need to scrap the apprenticeship fees if they really want to make this scheme work.

“The back to work schemes simply won't work unless we grow our economy and create full-time quality jobs upon completion . There is a fairer way. Through the better allocation of the funding, received every year by the Government through schemes like the Youth Guarantee programme, I feel we really could get our young people back into proper good quality jobs."

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