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Government needs to have jobs in place to encourage emigrants to return – McLellan

11 October, 2013

Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan has criticised the government for its failure to address the emigration crisis.

Speaking during the course of Oral Questions to the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Employment yesterday, Deputy McLellan stated that there has thus far been very little real effort to stem the flow of emigration from the state, much less to attract emigrants to return.

Deputy McLellan said;

“Minister the CSO figures illustrate that some 1,700 are leaving the state every week.

“The recent National Youth Council Report found that a quarter of the population had a direct experience of emigration of a close family member and that half of all 18 – 24 year olds would consider emigrating.

“This is a crisis; we are losing a generation and this is felt by communities across the island.

“The recent UCC study by Émigré project made for grim reading. It found that only 22% believe that it is likely that they will return in the next three years.

“But it also found that 62% of emigrants were graduates, and that the majority left due to lack of opportunity.

“So it is quite clear that the government needs to develop high quality, full time jobs and opportunities. But the reality is that it is the opposite is the case. Since coming to power 43% of the jobs created have been part time and currently over one third of all part time workers are under-employed. There are no clear targets for creating jobs.

“In our most recent jobs document, and in our alternative budget submission, we included numerous costed ideas outlining how we could create quality full time employment, in order to keep our young people here.

“If the government is serious about tackling emigration, and crucially, getting emigrants to return, it must set targets for creating that kind of employment, and deliver upon them. Low end part time jobs will not succeed in that aim.”


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