1,799 young jobseekers in Tipperary

Youth Council calls for measures to reduce youth unemployment in County Tipperary and nationwide


New data from the Department of Social Protection shows that the number of young people in Tipperary in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit is 1799.* This number is still far too high and investment to tackle the continued high level of youth unemployment are needed. Those are the messages from James Doorley, deputy director at the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide.

 

As part of its pre-budget submission published recently, the NYCI is calling for an investment of €30m in a renewed Youth Guarantee scheme and asking Government to incentivise education, training and work experience for young people by reversing the cuts in payments to young people on these schemes. Mr Doorley said: “While youth unemployment has declined from the crisis levels of the 2009 to 2013 period, the most recent figures indicate that we have almost 40,000** young people on the live register – of whom 16,000*** have been on the register for one year or more. In Tipperary alone there are 1799 young people in receipt of Jobseekers payments. We need action now to support these young people on the path to employment.”

 

EU data shows almost 1 in five ‘not in education, employment or training’

“According to data published by the EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat,**** just last month, the percentage of young people in Ireland aged 20 to 24 exclusively in employment in 2015 was 37.8% compared to 54.6% in 2006. Likewise, the number of young people not in education, employment or training (sometimes to refer to as NEETs) was almost a fifth at 19.7% compared to 11.9% in 2006.,” continued Mr Doorley.

 

€30m investment needed in Youth Guarantee

In the upcoming budget, NYCI is calling for two measures to address youth unemployment, explained Mr Doorley: “First, we are calling on the Government to review, reboot and invest in the Youth Guarantee. In 2014 the Government committed to the introduction of the guarantee of an education, training or work experience place for any young person who is unemployed for four months or more. To date the implementation of this has been found wanting. That is why we are calling on Government to invest €30m in a renewed Youth Guarantee, particularly focusing on the over 16,000 young people on the live register for 12 months or more, and with the overall aim of getting the rate of youth unemployment down to 8-9% by the end of 2017.”

 

Reverse cuts for those on training and work experience

“NYCI is also calling on Government to incentivise education, training and work experience for young people by reversing the cuts in payments to young people on these schemes,” continued Mr Doorley. The training allowance for young people participating on VTOS, 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 has been cut to €160 per week. JobBridge interns who were on €100 prior to participation receive €152.50 per week while working between 35 to 40 hours a week.

 

“As a first step to reversing all the welfare cuts on young people, we are proposing that those on education, training and work experience programmes currently on reduced rates should have their payments set at the minimum adult rate of €188 per week. At present, especially when travel and other expenses are included, many young people struggle with the costs of taking up these places.   Our proposal would serve two purposes: it would reduce the rates of financial hardship among young jobseekers and it would also provide an additional incentive for them to participate in education, training and work experience opportunities.

 

“We welcome the fact that youth unemployment has declined since the height of the crisis, but the current rates are still far too high and – as noted by the Eurostat report – too many young people are not engaged in education, employment or training. Without political action and further investment it is unlikely that these numbers will reduce significantly and that is why we are calling on the Government to provide the political leadership and funding in the upcoming Budget to tackle youth unemployment,” concluded Mr Doorley.

 

The NYCI Pre-Budget Submission ‘Youth Rising’ can be found here:http://www.youth.ie/sites/youth.ie/files/NYCI-Pre-Budget-2017-Submission.pdf

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