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European Court of Auditors told of concerns on implementation of Youth Guarantee in Ireland

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 12:15
  • Current levels of youth unemployment would be lower if Youth Guarantee was rolled out as promised, Youth Council tells ECA
  • 5,000 fewer places than promised in 2014
  • Calls for next Government to set out ambitious targets for delivery
  • Lack of Government engagement with key stakeholders highlighted

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has today (11.02.16) raised concerns about the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland at a meeting with the European Court of Auditors (ECA) in Dublin.

“We are concerned that the initial strong commitment to introduce and deliver a Youth Guarantee - which ensures that any young person unemployed for four months or more is guaranteed a place in education, training or work experience - in Ireland has dissipated,” said James Doorley, NYCI deputy director, speaking at the meeting.

Election call
The NYCI was invited to meet with the ECA to discuss the Youth Guarantee scheme, as it has long supported a Youth Guarantee and was among the first organisations to call for its introduction as early as 2011. The group’s general election manifesto calls on the next Government to review current implementation of the Youth Guarantee and set out ambitious targets for delivery of the initiative from 2016-2020.

Concern and disappointment at pace of implementation
Mr Doorley explained: “While the reduction in youth unemployment from 31.6% in February 2012 to 19.1% in January 2016 is welcome, our overall assessment is that we are concerned and disappointed at the pace and scale of implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland to date. We are of the view that current levels of youth unemployment would be lower if the youth guarantee was rolled out as promised.”
 
Under 25s long-term unemployed still at 45%

“The percentage of long-term unemployed young jobseekers remains unchanged at 45%. We would have anticipated that this would be much reduced if the Youth Guarantee had been properly implemented,” added Mr Doorley. 

5,000 fewer places than promised
“We had concerns about the number of places detailed in the original national implementation plan. The plan for 2014 anticipated the delivery of 28,350 places under the Youth Guarantee. While we anticipated some of these would be a continuance of existing programmes, we had anticipated a large increase in provision to meet the commitments in the plan. On best estimates, only 4,300 additional places were provided, over 5,000 fewer than promised. 
 
“We are concerned that a similar pattern is emerging with regard to 2015. Although we accept that full year returns are awaited, and numbers may increase, the latest data provided indicated that only 14,650 of the 28,350 places for 2015 had been delivered.* Unless there is a major increase it is likely that the number of places provided in 2015 will be fewer than in 2014,” continued Mr Doorley.

“Another key commitment in the national implementation plan was the development of a Personal Progression Plan (PPP) between the jobseeker and case worker. This is essential in assessing the education, training or work experience needs of the jobseekers and in providing a road map into employment. We are disappointed that between January 2014 and July 2015 only 9,073 young jobseekers under 25 were supported to develop such a plan.

Lack of engagement with key stakeholders
“NYCI is named as a “national partner” in the implementation plan, which stated that such partners would “be invited to participate in the delivery and/or review of the Youth Guarantee”. Since our meeting with the Minister for Social Protection in December 2013, we have had no formal contact or engagement with the Department with regard to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee nationally. 
 
“Apart from the lack of engagement with NYCI, we believe the failure of the Department of Social Protection to engage with a wide range of key stakeholders on an ongoing basis is an error. As proven in the Ballymun pilot of the scheme, all the various stakeholders such as the employers, education and training providers, community services, guidance professionals, local authorities and the youth sector have a role to play alongside the Public Employment Services in delivering on the scheme and making it a success,” concluded Mr Doorley.
 
ENDS
 
Contact: Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI: 087 781 4903, 01-478 4122 or communications@nyci.ie

Notes to Editors:

National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people, and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. 
www.youth.ie

Sources:
* Dáil Question 60, 17th December 2015
•    Download NYCI’s Election Manifesto at www.youth.ie/election16
•    NYCI Infographic Factsheet: Youth Guarantee
http://www.youth.ie/sites/youth.ie/files/NYCI_051_A4_accessible.pdf
•    The NYCI was among the first in Ireland to recommend examination of a youth guarantee scheme in February 2011
http://www.youth.ie/sites/youth.ie/files/Creating-a-future-for-Young-job...
(page 43)
 
Kind regards,
 
Daniel Meister

Communications Manager
National Youth Council of Ireland
3 Montague Street, Dublin 2, D02 V327
T: 01-478 4122
Direct line: 01-425 5955
M: 087 781 4903
www.youth.ie
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Download NYCI’s Election Manifesto at www.youth.ie/election16
 
The National Youth Council of Ireland is the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland. It uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. 
Registered Charity No. CHY 6823. Company No. 588214.