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With youth unemployment at over 30% and soaring emigration levels, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) urges Ireland to take the lead following European summit and act on European Youth Guarantee

USI is calling on the Government to act quickly and decisively in creating a National Jobs Plan for young people, to include considerable and significant investment in the European Youth Guarantee.

This will ensure all young people would be offered the opportunity of a job, training place, apprenticeship or education course within 4 months of being out of work.

Joe O’Connor, President of the Union of Students in Ireland said:

“Despite over 200 people leaving Ireland a day during 2012, destroying families and crippling communities across the country, our youth unemployment rate is incredibly still greater than 30%. This highlights the scale of the crisis facing young jobseekers in Ireland currently.

European leaders met this week to discuss what Angela Merkel states is the ‘most pressing problem facing Europe’, and Enda Kenny describes as an ‘abomination’. They reiterated and furthered their commitment to the European Youth Guarantee scheme.

The time for talking on this issue is long over, as thousands of our most skilled graduates continue to leave our shores and many more battle with the financial and emotional turmoil of being bereft of an opportunity to work in this country.

Young people who find themselves caught in the spiral of long-term unemployment face many wider societal challenges, in many cases resulting in negative consequences for their mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, and increased criminal activity.”

In collaboration with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), USI will be releasing a Youth Position Paper in response to the crisis currently facing young people in Ireland in the coming weeks.

This will include proposals on the Youth Guarantee as well as a best practice document on the principles of good work experience.

Mr O’Connor continued:

“Given the scale of the difficulties, this in itself is not the solution to this issue.

Our paper will also include proposals on the transition from second level to third level education and embedding entrepreneurship and employability skills into course curricula at third level.

USI also proposes further incentives for employers who hire graduates on a long-term basis, such as a fixed-term PRSI rebate.

It is vitally important that strong oversight is put in place to ensure fairness for young workers under the Guarantee scheme, given the abuse of the Job Bridge scheme which has occurred in some instances.

A committee should therefore be established to ensure stakeholders like the USI, ICTU, ISSU and IBEC should therefore have an ongoing role in closely monitoring the rollout and outcomes of any Irish Youth Guarantee programme.”

-ENDS-

For more information contact USI General Manager, Ben Archibald on 01-9052091 or email manager@usi.ie

 

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