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European Court of Auditors: Ireland’s implementation of EU Youth Guarantee falls short of expectations

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 10:45
  • EU Auditors report a wakeup call for Irish Government and EU Commission on flaws in Youth Guarantee programme - time for review and reboot, says Youth Council
  • Over 13,500 young people unemployed long-term, with over 4,500 unemployed for more than three years.

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has today (04.04.17) published a comprehensive report examining the implementation of the Youth Guarantee – a scheme to address youth unemployment - in 7 EU member states, including Ireland.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has highlighted that the report details a range of deficiencies in the operation of the Youth Guarantee programme here in Ireland. These reflect many of the concerns which the NYCI has raised in the last two years about the implementation of the programme to date.

Commenting on the ECA report’s conclusions and recommendations James Doorley, NYCI deputy director said: “The European Court of Auditors’ conclusion that the Youth Guarantee Scheme is falling short of expectations, confirms our view, which is further proven by the fact that three years into the implementation of the scheme we still have over 13,500 young people are unemployed long-term, (12 months or more) with over 4,500 unemployed for more than three years.**

We still strongly support the Youth Guarantee, but it needs to be properly resourced and implemented, this report serves as a wakeup call to both the Irish Government and the EU Commission that they need to step up their efforts to reduce the still high levels of youth unemployment in Ireland and across the EU,” continued Mr Doorley

Under the youth guarantee any young person unemployed for 4 months or more, would be offered a good quality education, training or work experience opportunity. NYCI was among the first organisations in Ireland to support the concept and welcomed the introduction of the scheme here in 2014.

The ECA report found that;

  • The initial expectations of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland and the other 6 EU member states had fallen short of expectations
  • The Irish plan and programme excludes 30% of the young people “not in education, employment and training” (NEET) which is significant given that Ireland had the 8th highest number of NEETS in EU27
  • In 2015, less than half (48%) of the young unemployed people accessed education, training and work experience within the 4 month timeframe-compared to an average of 70% across all 7 member states
  • Report states that all 7 member states’ strategies including Ireland were not focused enough, had no quantified objectives, and no clear timetable for reaching all young people not in education, employment or training
  • Ireland could not provide a detailed estimate of costs to meet the commitment to engage all youth unemployed within 4 months.
  • Report is critical of the poor levels of information and data, such as lack of information on type of support given to young people, the number of offers and the related costs
  • Ireland had no clear plan on how to engage with stakeholders, such as youth organisations and employers in delivering on the Youth Guarantee plan
  • Report concludes that given the deficiencies it is difficult to estimate the contribution of the Youth Guarantee scheme to addressing and reducing youth unemployment.


Comment/reaction: James Doorley (quoted above) available for comment on 087 648 3282

Or Contact Daniel Meister, NYCI Communications Manager on 087 781 4903 or 01 425 5955 or

Notes to Editors:



** Parliamentary questions No 393 & 394: Written answers Tuesday, 15 November 2016


ECA Press Release:

ECA Report:


About National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.