Youth Council welcomes political support for “youth guarantee”
€3.16 bn – cost of doing nothing to combat youth unemployment
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) welcomed political support for a “youth guarantee” following a meeting on the scheme today with Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton.
The NYCI has been a long time advocate of a youth guarantee – which would ensure young people on the live register for four months or more will automatically be directed into employment, education or training.
Following this latest round of meetings between NYCI, the European Youth Forum and both opposition and government during the EU Presidency, the Youth Council has warned that while a broad political consensus on the issue is to be welcomed, now is the time to get into the details and put ideas into action.
“The youth guarantee scheme is not a panacea, but it is an important first step – it could work in Ireland, if a number of conditions are satisfied,” said NYCI deputy director, James Doorley, speaking after the meeting.
“Firstly, it needs to be properly resourced to ensure we have sufficient high quality education, training and job experience places. Secondly, the Government will have to provide incentives to employers to take on young people who have participated in the scheme. Thirdly, we need additional measures to support young people who are long-term unemployed to avoid the weaknesses identified in the scheme in other countries where it already exists, including Finland and Sweden,” added Mr Doorley.
Scheme Cost effective
A factsheet on the youth guarantee released by the Youth Council today highlighted that the cost of doing nothing to combat youth unemployment in Ireland is €3.16 billion.[i]
“The cost per participant in the scheme in Sweden is €6,600.[ii] Recent figures show that there are 41,453 young people under 25 years of age on the Live Register for 6 months or more.[iii] Apply these to the Swedish per capita figure and you get a cost of just under €275 million to implement the scheme in Ireland,” stated Mr Doorley.
“Moreover, it is likely that the scheme would be phased in over a number of years and in that case the annual cost would be a lower than this again.
“Either way, if you compare these figures to the €3.16 billion cost of doing nothing, the potential benefits of putting the scheme into action sooner rather than later are clear,” concluded Mr Doorley.
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. www.youth.ie
[i] A recent Eurofound report estimates that the economic cost to countries like Ireland is likely to be in the region of 2% of GDP which indicates that the cost of youth unemployment is €3.16 billion. Estimated cost is based on two types of costs – the missing contribution of NEETs (unpaid tax and social contributions) and the excess in welfare transfers that NEETs are more likely to receive.
NEETs – Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe, Eurofound, 2012:
[ii] Eurozone Job Crisis, Trends and Policy Responses, International Labour Organisation July 2012