CSO Live Register: reaction to latest figures
Youth Council expresses concern at consistently high youth unemployment (20.2%) – still double the pre-crisis rate
19,000 young people on live register for over 1 year
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has expressed concern at the high youth unemployment rate of 20.2%. The latest figures for youth unemployment are still double the pre-crisis rate of between 8%-9% the group has warned. New figures released today (05.08.15) by the Central Statistics Office (CSO)* show that the number of those aged under 25 that are unemployed was 37,600 in July 2015. This represents a slight increase of 700 compared to the June 2015 figure of 36,900.
The Youth Council – which represents youth organisations with 1,400 staff and 40,000 volunteers who work with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has warned that much remains to be done to tackle youth unemployment. NYCI Deputy Director James Doorley explained: “Youth unemployment is still high, at twice the rate it was before 2008. Moreover, the latest figures at the end of June show that almost 19,000** young people were on the live register for one year or more.”
Proposal: restore €188 per week for education, training and work experience programmes
The NYCI’s Pre-Budget Submission proposes that Government restore the adult rate of €188 per week for all young people participating in education, training and work experience programmes.
“This would serve two purposes,” continued Mr Doorley. “First, it would assist the Government in meeting its commitments under the Youth Guarantee*** and, second, it would support young people to have the qualifications, skills and experience to secure employment as the economy recovers.”
The previous and current Government reduced welfare payments to young people under 26 years of age. According to the Youth Council, the Government justified these cuts partly on the basis that it would incentivise young people to take up the additional education, training and work experience opportunities it provided.
Mr Doorley said: “This policy is short sighted and further undermined by decisions to cut various activation payments and training allowances to young people under 26 moving from welfare to education, training and work experience.
“The training allowance for young people participating on the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, Youthreach, Community Training Centre Programmes and other SOLAS training has been reduced from €188 per week to €160 per week. From January 2014, the payment to those participating on the Back to Education Allowance Programme was cut to €160 per week and for JobBridge interns who were on €100 prior to participation they end up on a €150 per week while working between 35-40 hours a week.
“While the overall number of young people unemployed continues to decline, there is still a significant number, largely victims of the recession, who are long term unemployed. As the economy recovers and more jobs become available it is vital that this cohort of young people are given the chance and supports to enable them to get oito the employment ladder. The cost of our proposal is modest in the overall budgetary arithmetic, however the social and economic benefits of the proposal for young jobseekers and Irish society are significant,” concluded Mr Doorley.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 01 425 5955 or 087 781 4903 or email email@example.com
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 statistical release, 05 August 2015 : Monthly Unemployment: http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/mue/monthlyunemploymentjuly2015/#.VcHgUPlRLOQ
***Youth Guarantee Scheme
The Youth Guarantee is designed to ensure that any young person unemployed for four months or more is guaranteed a quality education, training or work experience place.