Time to implement Youth Guarantee, says forum

Interest groups stress need for work and education programme for young people as long-term joblessness increases

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise Damien English said the recent  improvement in employment rates could be attributed in part to emigration. Photograph: National Youth Council of Ireland

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise Damien English said the recent improvement in employment rates could be attributed in part to emigration. Photograph: National Youth Council of Ireland

 

Proper resources and funding need to be put into the implementation of the Youth Guarantee scheme as long-term youth unemployment increases, accoring to a youth forum.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) event ‘Youth Guarantee: from vision to reality’ brought together interest groups to discuss the scheme, which has seen youth unemployment fall in countries where it has been used.

The Youth Guarantee scheme offers anyone under the age of 25 either a work or education opportunity after four months of unemployment or after leaving school. At present, almost 30,000 people have been on the live register for 12 months or more.

Speaking at the event yesterday, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise Damien English said decreasing unemployment figures do not necessarily mean more young people are employed in Ireland.

“Some of the improvement [in employment rates] is down to emigration. We know that. There is no point kidding ourselves,” he said.

“Youth Guarantee is being used in several countries around the world and it is working for them. We just have to put the resources into it.”

The head of communications and information in the European Commission Representation in Ireland Tim Hayes said Youth Guarantee was a top priority at the moment.

“Our challenge is to address the failures in the labour market. We need to ensure that no young person is left behind,” he said.

NYCI deputy director James Doorley said the organisation welcomes progress made on Youth Guarantee during Ireland’s EU Presidency, but it is now time to start implementing the scheme so it doesn’t drop off the agenda.

“It is clear that it’s time for action and a Youth Guarantee, if funded and properly implemented, is one concrete measure which can provide hope for young jobseekers and a pathway to work,” he said.