Youth Council: ‘Hammer of Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) cuts falling heaviest on young workers’
- 6 out of 10 young people on lower rates (€203 and €250), compared with almost two-thirds of older workers are on the highest rate of €300.
- Call to restore those who lost their job as a result of the pandemic to highest rates or invest in significant youth employment measures
Government must either restore young people to the higher PUP rate or deliver a massive jobs support package for young jobseekers in Budget 2021 to address our 36.5% youth unemployment rate. That’s according to the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide.
Analysis undertaken by NYCI of fresh data provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) indicates that almost a third (32%) of young people under 25 are now on the lowest rate of PUP payment of €203 compared to a fifth (20%) of recipients over 25. Overall, almost 6 out of 10 (58%) young people under 25 are on the two lower rates of €203 and €250. In comparison, almost two-thirds of older workers are on the highest rate of €300. 
Restore those who lost their job as a result of the pandemic to highest rates
Reacting to the figures James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director, said: “We are calling on the Government to either restore all those who lost their job as a result of the pandemic to the highest rates or alternatively deliver a massive injection of funds in education, training and access to apprenticeships in Budget 2021 to counteract the impact of the pandemic on the employment and future career prospects of young people.
“With 36.5% youth unemployment, young people comprising 21% of those on the PUP (despite only making up 11% of the workforce), a further 28,777 young people on the live register, the pandemic has hit the employment prospects of young people hard.
“And from our analysis the cuts brought in by Government in recent weeks are a further hammer blow falling disproportionately on the young. It is important to remember that all the young people on the PUP now had a job in March, and for very good public health reasons Government took measures to protect us all from the pandemic, instituted measures which led to young people leaving employment temporarily and now 6 months losing those jobs.
“Therefore, the Government has a duty to either put young people on the higher rate of PUP or alternatively provide a large investment in education, training, career guidance and the roll out of a national access to apprenticeship scheme in the Budget next week to give young people hope and alternatives in the coming months.
“We are facing into a grim period for young people on the employment front with the traditional option of emigration now also largely closed off. It is vital that we provide the young people who lost their jobs in March – and who are unlikely to return to those old positions – opportunities and supports to enhance their skills, retrain and look at new and alternative career options. We cannot afford to abandon them to the corrosive social virus of long-term unemployment,” concluded Mr Doorley.
In its pre-budget 2021 submission ‘Providing the Pathway’ published this week, the NYCI detailed a range of costed measures to better tackle the issues facing Ireland’s youth. It looks at support for voluntary youth organisations, employment, social protection supports, measures to tackle youth homelessness and climate justice.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 01 425 5955 or 087 781 4903 or email email@example.com
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.
Analysis of Pandemic Unemployment Payment October 2020
|Rate of PUP||Under 25 Nos||Under 25 %||Over 25 Nos||Over 25s %|
 Parliamentary Questions 535 and 536, Tuesday, October 6th 2020 https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2020-10-06/535/#pq_535