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Government dragging its feet on Youth Unemployment – Reilly

12 November, 2013

Speaking today in the Seanad today Sinn Fein Spokesperson for Youth Affairs Kathryn Reilly called on the government to include youth unemployment as a priority in the Action Plan for Jobs 2014.

She said:

“As Taoiseach Enda Kenny and European Leaders meet today in Paris for a summit on youth joblessness, there are 18,000 more young people unemployed today than when this government took office.

“Today they will finalise the Youth Guarantee, a guarantee which the International Labour Organisation has said would cost €21 billion across the Eurozone. For Ireland, the ILO has stated the Youth Guarantee would cost us €347million, excluding administrative costs. Shockingly, the government has only allocated 4% of this figure.

“It’s necessary and important to remember we can recoup around 66% of any investment that we put in. The ILO has also said that their proposed figures are modest figures in the context of what youth unemployment costs any economy and society in the long term. If their proposals are modest, what can we call ours?

“I am calling for a debate on the Youth Guarantee.

“The government recently invited proposals for the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and identified seven key themes for consideration. Despite increasing emigration and decreasing employment the needs of young people do not feature as a key theme.

“The EU Affairs Committee in its report on the Youth Guarantee called for the next Action Plan on Jobs to contain a specific section on youth employment. The USI, ICTU and the ISSU in their Locked Out document also called for a youth jobs strategy. It is absolutely essential youth unemployment is included as a priority. I call on the Minister to do this immediately.” ENDS

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