We need to give young people hope, says Barroso
The Ibec CEO conference speakers included PwC's Rónan Murphy. photographs: alan betson
Barbara Kelly from Quality Qualifications Ireland attended the Ibec CEO conference where speakers included PwC's Rónan Murphy and Gary McGann from Smurfit Kappa Group.photographs: alan betson
The Ibec CEO conference speakers included Gary McGann from Smurfit Kappa Group. photographs: alan betson
IBEC CEO conference 2013:Young Europeans will be guaranteed the offer of a job, training or education under a new commitment agreed by EU ministers yesterday.
The EU-wide youth guarantee, which was brokered by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, will see a new job, further education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship offered to people aged under 25 who find themselves unemployed for four months upon leaving school or being made redundant.
Earlier yesterday, European Commission president José Manuel Barroso said the guarantee was necessary to restore confidence and hope among young people.
“We need to give these young people a better prospect,” he told the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) CEO conference in Dublin.
While employment figures published by the Central Statistics Office yesterday show growth in the number of people employed for the first time in five years in the final quarter of 2012, Ireland still has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe at 30 per cent. “Here in Ireland, and all around Europe, too many young people are asking if they will ever find a job or have the same quality of life as their parents,” he said.
He said young people should be trained to fill vacancies in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector: “The sad fact is that we simultaneously have high levels of unemployment and skill shortages. The shortfall in ICT professionals could reach 700,000 by 2015. Opportunities exist and we must train our young people to fill them.”
Smurfit Kappa chief executive Gary McCann said Europe must open its borders to young talent to fill these roles. “If we want to grow jobs in Europe, we need the skills to fill them.”
Some €6 billion in the EU budget has been set aside to tackle youth unemployment in areas with unemployment rates of 25 per cent or higher.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the conference that Ireland, like many countries in Europe, had experienced an unemployment shock in the past few years “from which we have yet to recover”. “We cannot allow economic recovery to be a jobless recovery.”
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said the annual fall in employment in Ireland was most heavily concentrated in the 20-34 age group. “We must do more at national level across Europe to reduce youth employment. This means redoubling efforts to promote young people’s first work experience and their participation in the labour market.”
He said legislative measures and initiatives were needed to encourage job creation, while protecting the sustainability of existing jobs.
“The goal must be that, within a few months of leaving school, every young person gets a good quality offer of work or continued education, or an apprenticeship or traineeship,” he added.
The conference heard that just over a quarter (27 per cent) of European chief executives are “very confident” about short-term revenue growth, compared to 36 per cent globally.
The findings were extracted from the PwC 2013 Global CEO Survey, which was launched at the conference yesterday.
Also speaking at the conference yesterday, Eircom chief executive Herb Hribar announced that the company would launch its planned television service later this year, putting it in direct competition with UPC and making it the first provider to launch infrastructure based “quad play” bundles that will offer broadband, voice, mobile and TV from one provider.