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Invest €2m in access to apprenticeships to help halve long-term youth unemployment

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 09:00

Youth Council calls for measures to tackle youth unemployment  as part of a number of costed measures detailed in its Pre-Budget Submission launching today

We need greater investment in apprenticeships as a concrete step towards halving long-term youth unemployment. That was the message from James Doorley, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) Deputy Director, speaking in advance of the publication today (31.07.18) of the organisation’s pre-budget submission.

In its Pre Budget 2019 submission ‘Future Proof with Investment in Youth’ the NYCI, which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide, is calling for an investment of €22 million in the education, training and access to apprenticeships to halve long-term youth unemployment by the end of 2019.

Mr Doorley said: “Census 2016 indicates that our population aged 10-24 years will increase to over one million by 2025, so we need to invest in policies, services and supports to meet the needs of young people today, while preparing for demographic pressures in the coming years.”

“While we welcome job growth in the Irish economy and the consistent trend of reduced youth unemployment we are concerned about the 8,915 young people [19] who are now long-term unemployed (for 12 months or more). We have costed a number of measures to help reduce this figure by half in 2019.”

Access to apprenticeships

Among these measures, we are proposing that €2m is invested in an access to apprenticeship programme. We welcome the growth in apprenticeships in the last number of years. The number of apprentices in training in 2017 was 12,849, up from 10,445 in 2016* driven by a 53% increase in the number of new entrants between 2015 and 2017.** And we support the overall Government commitment to double the number of new entrants by 2020 to 9,000 per annum with the introduction of a range of new apprenticeships including in areas such as animation, horticulture and healthcare.***

As we expand the number and range of apprenticeships, however, it is vital that these opportunities remain open to all young people, in particular young people who are economically and socially disadvantaged and those who have limited formal qualifications.

We propose that programmes such as the DIT ‘Access to Apprenticeship’ programme should be rolled out nationwide to provide supports and address barriers, which may prevent disadvantaged young people from opting for and being able to sustain an apprenticeship, with a particular focus on the long term unemployed,” stated Mr Doorley.

This €2m investment would be part of the overall €22m additional investment in Budget 2019 NYCI recommends in order to halve the number of young people long-term unemployed by the end of 2019. They propose the provision of an additional 2,650 education and training places which will cost €20m based on the average cost of a SOLAS training place**** of €7,578.

Net cost only €6m

“€22 million is the gross cost, as this investment would lead to reduced social welfare payments as more young people move into employment. For example, if we assume 50% or there were 2,650 fewer young people on €107.70, the lowest rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance, this would save just over €14m per annum, so the estimated net cost would be €6m,” explained Mr Doorley.

Alongside access to apprenticeships, the NYCI Pre-Budget 2019 submission details a range of costed measures and calls for action on:

  • enhancing youth work services
  • halving long term youth unemployment
  • equality for young jobseekers
  • working to end youth homelessness

The full NYCI Pre-Budget 2019 Submission ‘Future Proof with Investment in Youth’ can be found here:




Contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI 087 781 4903 or (main NYCI line: 01 478 4122)


Notes to Editors:

National Youth Council of Ireland

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


*Dáil Éireann, Parliamentary Questions 114, 117-119, 18th January 2018

**Dáil Éireann, Parliamentary Question 79, 22nd March 2018,


**** pp26