Youth Council highlights ‘a million good reasons’ to invest in growing youth population in Budget 2018
11,257 young people under 26 still long-term unemployed
Need to halt long-term youth unemployment and abolish ‘sub-minimum’ wages
With the number of those aged 10-24 set to surpass one million by 2025, Budget 2018 must both address the needs of young people today and prepare the ground for growing youth population, that was the message from the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) Deputy Director, James Doorley speaking in advance of the Department of Social Protection Pre-Budget Forum held in Dublin Castle today. The NYCI’s member organisations work with over 380,000 young people nationwide.
Unique in Europe – growing youth population “Ireland is unique in Europe in having a growing youth population. That brings great opportunities, but we must invest in young people in Budget 2018 and provide them with the necessary supports so they can achieve their potential and contribute to our society and economy,” explained Mr Doorley.
Mr Doorley also outlined a selection of the costed measures in NYCI’s Pre-Budget Submission, due to be published in August: “We look forward to engaging with Ministers Regina Doherty and Finian McGrath on our Pre-Budget Submission ‘A Million Good Reasons’ which details costed measures to address the needs of young people in Ireland today and prepare us for the increasing youth population. In particular, we will be focusing on youth employment issues:**
Tackling long-term youth unemployment
While youth joblessness has declined, the latest figures available indicate that 11,257 young people under 26 years are still long term unemployed (12 months or more).
We need to do more to address this – still too high – number, we propose that Government aim to more than halve the number of young people long term unemployed by the end of 2018.
This can be achieved by investing in the provision of quality education and training places as set out in the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan.
We propose funding in Budget 2018 for an additional 6,250 places at a gross cost of €47.4m, the net cost of such a measure will be just €14m due to reduced welfare payments.
We must ensure that young people who are out of work for long periods are given the supports to gain the skills and qualifications to enter the labour market.
Inequality: scrap lower rates of jobseekers allowance
As has been our position since 2009, we are opposed to lower rates of jobseekers allowance for young people aged 18-25 years.
As set out in our pre-budget submission, 7 out of 10 young people on Jobseekers Allowance are on €102.70 per week, which leaves many people struggling to make ends meet and living in poverty. This is backed up by the official statistics from the DSP’s social inclusion monitor which found that 15.6% of young people aged 15-24 years were living in consistent poverty: this is double the overall rate.
In Budget 2018 we are calling for the cuts to be reversed in a graduated manner over the next 3 years, with a €30 increase for both young people on the €102.70 and €147.80 rates to €132.70 and €177.80 respectively.
Abolish sub-minimum rates of minimum wage
Our pre-budget submission also calls for the abolition of the sub-minimum rates of the minimum wage which impact particularly on young workers and trainees and a specific measure to tackle youth homelessness.
“As we emerge from the economic and social crisis, one positive trend worth focusing on is our growing youth population. Census 2016 shows that the number of young people aged 10-24 will grow by 11.6% between 2015 and 2025,meaning Ireland will be home to just over one million young people.* This will also create challenges, however, with adequate resources the youth work sector is well placed to support young people to reach their potential and make Ireland the best country in the world in which to be a young person,” concluded Mr Doorley.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or 01 425 5955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) 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.