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Government incentives bring little guarantee of youth employment - Senator Reilly

8 October, 2014

Senator Kathryn Reilly criticised Minister Joan Burton for her failure to adequately address youth unemployment.

Speaking this morning at Sinn Féin’s alternative budget launch, Senator Reilly also highlighted the delays in the implementation of the flawed Youth Guarantee scheme.

Senator Reilly stated:

“A seriously lacking Youth Guarantee plan is being rolled out at delayed pace. We are nearing the end of 2014, the first year of a two year implementation plan. And little sign of any significant progress or change to young peoples' lives.

“Time and time again the Youth Guarantee is referred to as a success by Minister Burton. Yet still the most recent figures from the Department of Social Protection show that only 9,115 placements have been provided to the approximately 28,500 young people without a job or placement. Of those on the scheme, 67% were on JobBridge and training with FÁS/SOLAS.

“The Youth Guarantee plan launched by Minister Burton in January of this year promised to provide every young person under 25 a good quality offer of employment, continued education or traineeship with a period of 4 months of becoming unemployed or leaving education,

“As I have pointed out before and as we highlighted in our recent ‘Youth Matters: Not For Export’ policy analysis, there is no provision for young people with disabilities or lone parents and carers in the current plan.

“A special EU summit is taking place today on employment, addressing youth unemployment and the Youth Guarantee. Commissioner László Andor, is meeting EU labour ministers before the summit discussing ways to accelerate and improve the implementation of the Youth Guarantee across Europe.

“In light of the gravity of the situation, the Irish Government needs to take heed. 

“We all know that cuts to young peoples’ payments contributed to the wave of mass emigration felt by this state. Cutting vital payments while there are no jobs is nothing more than forced emigration.

“Sinn Fein has prioritised a number of areas for additional support in Budget 2015. We want to raise the living standards of those hit hardest by this current Fine Gael and Labour government.

“One priority is to stop the hardship being felt by young people by reversing the cuts to the Jobseekers Allowance and Supplementary Welfare Allowance for the under 26s. This would be done over the course of two budgets, commencing by an increase of 40 euros in Budget 2015.”

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