CAO applicants need quality prospects for the future – Senator Kathryn Reilly
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Youth Affairs, Senator Kathryn Reilly has congratulated those students receiving their CAO offers today. Senator Reilly however stressed the need for quality opportunities for these students who will be graduating in a few years’ time as youth unemployment figures continue to increase.
Speaking at Leinster House today, Senator Reilly said:
“I would like to congratulate all those students who have received an offer through the CAO system to go on to further study. I would also like to congratulate and wish the best of luck to those who have chosen to pursue options outside of the CAO system, such as those who have applied for apprenticeships or decided to undertake other employment opportunities.
“To those who have been left disappointed today, I would reassure them that this is not the end, it is only the beginning. There are numerous opportunities still available and you can regroup and plan again.
“However, it is disappointing that at a time of the year when young people in particular move on to another journey in their lives we have witnessed another increase in youth unemployment. On top of this we have seen no meaningful increase in youth employment under this government, the number of people aged 20-24 in employment has actually fallen under Labour and Fine Gael’s watch.
“That these latest figures come on the back of over five years of huge youth emigration and a reduced number of young people in the workforce, would lead you to believe that the government would have devised some coherent and effective strategies. Unfortunately that is not the case; all we have seen is a government more concerned with massaging unemployment figures than searching for a constructive solution.
“Therefore, in the midst of today’s news we all must be mindful of the difficult job market which our young people will be entering into over the coming years and work to remedy this problem. We need to move beyond the current situation where young people leave Ireland to access the opportunities which are denied to them at home.
“Those students getting their CAO places today will be graduating under a new government. Fine Gael and Labour have shown little regard for the interests of these students or their future. We need to make Ireland an attractive place for students and graduates, now and in years to come. Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring a fair recovery and creating a fair economy where our young people can flourish.”