Against the backdrop of CSO figures released today showing over 75,300 young people on the live register* the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is urging Government to draw down EU monies to fund incentives and public works to employ young jobseekers.
“The European Social Fund still has a staggering €30 billion of funding uncommitted to projects which must be committed by the end of 2013. In December the head of the European Commission Mr Barroso invited member states to put forward proposals for this funding to address youth unemployment. We are calling on the Irish Government to urgently engage with the EU Commission with a view to securing some of this funding to tackle the stubbornly high levels of youth unemployment in this country,” said James Doorley, Assistant Director at NYCI.
“We urgently need a new plan which will give young people hope and options other than the dole or emigration. Among the measures which the Government should initiate are; firstly they should provide incentives to employers in the form of a wage subsidy to take on young jobseekers – as has recently been announced by the UK Government. Secondly, we support the call from the National Economic and Social Council for direct employment or public works projects which are providing required services or enhancing existing infrastructure. As well as beginning to address the serious youth unemployment problem in the country and providing young jobseekers with valuable skills and experience, targeting the funding in this way would bring tangible benefits to the economy as a whole – addressing the need for infrastructure and also providing a much needed spending boost to the local economies,” continued Mr Doorley.
“We acknowledge that the Government has commenced a number of reforms and employment initiatives to date. However, many of these will take years to bear fruit and this generation of young people can’t wait that long. The other problem has been that many good initiatives have been on a small scale and have not been sufficient to address the current crisis. The option of drawing down significant EU Social Funds presents the Government with a unique opportunity which it must capitalise on urgently, as has the Spanish Government – which announced last week it is seeking European support to address this great social problem.”
“It is imperative that we act now to send out a positive signal that practical measures are being taken, in order to give young people hope, reduce unemployment rates and stem the tide of emigration,” concluded Mr Doorley.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Officer 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 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.
*CSO Live Register (1 February 2012): http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/labourmarket/2012/lreg_jan2012.pdf
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