Youth Guarantee: action needed now Youth Council to tell Social Protection Committee
Meeting with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection today, the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) will highlight that urgent implementation and sufficient resourcing are vital to a meaningful Youth Guarantee.
Speaking in advance of the meeting James Doorley, NYCI deputy director said:
“We welcome the opportunity to discuss the Youth Guarantee, which proposes to ensure young people receive a quality offer of employment education or training within four months of becoming unemployed. There is broad agreement on the need for a Youth Guarantee, but it’s time to move from discussion to action. It is vital that the focus now is on swift implementation supported by sufficient resourcing to ensure we introduce a meaningful Youth Guarantee.”
Vital to get this right from the start
“We cannot afford to raise young people’s hopes and then dash them with empty promises. The word “guarantee” has a currency. The youth guarantee has been presented as a new departure; we have to deliver the quality places and progression for young jobseekers. Let’s strive to make the Irish Youth Guarantee ‘the best youth guarantee in Europe’” continued Mr Doorley.
Significant Investment required
“Based on the Swedish model we estimate that delivering the youth guarantee to all those on the live register for 6 months or more would cost approximately €273 million. A comprehensive guarantee cannot be done on the cheap. The €14 million ‘initial allocation’ announced in the budget is welcome, but nowhere near sufficient. Moreover, evidence from Sweden shows investment pays off within one year,” added Mr Doorley.
Focus should be on most disadvantaged young people
“We need to focus in particular on the most disadvantaged young people who have limited qualifications and are long term unemployed. Recent figures show that up to 27,800 young people were on the live register for one year or more. There is a danger that this group will be left behind if specific measures are not implemented. Evidence from Sweden and Finland suggests a Youth Guarantee may be less successful with this cohort.”
Mr Doorley concluded:
“The Government is currently developing a Youth Guarantee plan which has to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of the year so Ireland can access EU funds. Therefore it is vital that we have a full debate on how best to achieve rapid implementation, while ensuring that it is sufficiently resourced to provide quality opportunities for those that need them most.”
National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people, and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie