805 young people in Co Clare are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance/Benefit according to new data from the Department of Social Protection.
Investment is needed to tackle the continued high level of youth employment according to James Doorley, deputy director at the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).
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.
Doorley stated “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 Clare alone there are 805 young people in receipt of Jobseekers payments. We need action now to support these young people on the path to employment.”
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.”
James added “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. 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”.