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Ní Riada initiates extension of support for NEETs

6 April, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the passing of an amendment initiated by her around the support for young people Not in Education, Employment, or Training. (NEET)

Ms Ní Riada, a member of the European Parliament Budgets Committee, said,

"In 2014 the overall the NEET rate reported for Irish people aged 15-24 was 18%, among the highest in Europe along with Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.

"Therefore, when a report on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund came before the Budgets Committee, I was prepared to ensure they were protected.

"Originally, the report was asking to assess whether there is a need to maintain support for NEETs, as beneficiaries of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in areas with high youth unemployment. The EGF is a fund that provides support to people losing their jobs en masse as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation. Such support includes job-search assistance, retraining and start-up grants, for example.

"However, I tabled amendments to ensure that the measures put in place to support NEETs would be extended until after December 2017. And I was delighted that they were accepted by the Parliament's Budget Committee. They will shortly be voted on by the Parliament as a whole.

"The implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative in Ireland appears to have been parked by the Irish government, despite the fact that youth unemployment remains very high. This makes maintaining support for NEETs through the EGF more important than ever. 

"The youth unemployment crisis is not over, so I welcome this positive outcome of extending support for NEETs, and urge the Irish government to ensure that it uses the available EGF support to its full potential instead of returning unused funds as we've seen recently.

"The Irish government also needs to show a commitment to fully implement the European Youth Guarantee in Ireland using the support available from the EU."

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