Hanafin urges unemployed to upskill

 

More than 50,000 young people signing on the Live Register are being urged to improve their education, skills and qualifications during the recession.

Over the coming week the Department of Social and Family Affairs will post a letter to all 18 to 25-year-olds on jobseeker’s allowance advising them to look at the options available through their local VEC and adult education access programmes.

Minister Mary Hanafin said improving skills will be the key to economic recovery.

She said: “Young people should not see signing on the Live Register as their future — they should look to see what supports and opportunities are available for them throughout the country.

“We know that people of all skill levels are losing their jobs.

“Young people who may have opted out of the formal education and training opportunities, when the draw of high wages during the boom years was irresistible, are now more likely to remain unemployed if they are not actively upskilling and gaining new expertise.”

Ms Hanafin said the Government is now providing, through Fás, a total of 128,000 training and activation places for unemployed people this year, in addition to some 147,000 places available in further education programmes.

A cut in jobseeker’s allowance payment rates for 18 and 19-year-olds is also aimed at motivating them into taking up full-time training, she said.

“This measure was specifically introduced from this month to help young people gain skills which will give them a route into employment and so help them avoid becoming welfare-dependent from a young age,” Ms Hanafin added.