Living Wage forum welcome, but increase in temporary contracts and precarious work needs to be tackled
39% of workers on the minimum wage aged between 18 and 29
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has welcomed the decision to hold a forum on the Living Wage, but has warned that wider issues related to the changing nature of employment in Ireland also need to be addressed. The Living Wage forum is taking place in Dublin Castle today (30.09.15).
Speaking in advance of the forum, James Doorley, NYCI deputy director said: “The decision of Government to hold this Forum is welcome, however, we need to see a plan of action following today’s event.
“Moreover, it is important to recognise that the labour market has changed radically in the last decade and that young people are on the front line in coping with the rise of precarious employment.
“Low pay is a significant issue for young people, with 39% of workers on the minimum wage aged between 18 and 29* so it is important to address the low hourly rates many are being paid. The recent recommendation of the Low Pay Commission is a modest step in the right direction. But we also need a broader Governmental agenda to support and promote decent work, and to tackle the growth of temporary employment, internships, zero and low hour contracts which condemn too many young people to low paid, insecure and poor quality employment.”
The NYCI has voiced increasing concern about the changing nature of the labour market, with a significant growth in precarious employment and what is known as “contingent” labour. Those engaged in internships, temporary work, part-time jobs, zero-hours contracts and sub-contracting comprise an ever growing segment of the labour force. A 2013 report by the European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions found that the number of young people aged 15 to 24 in temporary employment in Ireland increased from 11.2% in 2004 to 34.9% in 2012.**
Mr Doorely added: “Likewise we have also witnessed the growth of internships, as outlined in our report “JobBridge, A Stepping Stone or Dead End”.*** This highlighted the lack of quality in the scheme and the many deficiencies, which do little to support young people into decent work and in some cases hinder the creation of entry level jobs that so many rely on.”
“Many young workers are having the traditional entry into well-paid and secure employment elongated and frustrated by the proliferation of internships and temporary jobs on minimum and low wages. This trend has accelerated since the onset of the economic recession in 2008.
“It is welcome that the Government recognises this problem and are holding this Forum. But this should only be a first step, we need action to end the proliferation of low paid, poor quality and precarious work” concluded Mr Doorley.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 01 425 5955 or 087 781 4903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
* 39% of those on the minimum wage are aged 18-29 years p36 http://www.lowpaycommission.ie/publications/national-minimum-wage-/recommendations-of-the-low-pay-commission-for-the-national-minimum-wage-2015-.pdf
** Eurofound (2014) Foundation Findings. Social Situation of Young People. 3rd EQLS Policy Brief. Eurofound: Dublin.