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The direct link the latest OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) reports make between youth unemployment and  suicide is frightening, and shows an urgent a response is needed.

The latest OECD reports on Ireland support USI’s calls for greater action on Youth Unemployment, and are critical of Ireland’s efforts to address this crisis. The report describes Ireland as ‘leaving behind far too many for far too long’, with an enormous spike in young Irish people now categorised as being long-term unemployed.

The key conclusions of the latest Economic Survey of Ireland and a new report ‘Local Job creation: How Employment and Training Agencies can help’ state that while the unemployment rate in Ireland has begun to decline, joblessness remains a serious concern.

With more than one-in-ten 15-18 year olds not employed or in education, youth unemployment at 28%, and more and more well-educated graduates being forced to emigrate to find work, the OECD has told the Government they must do more.

The OECD said that while it is working closely with the Department of Social Protection to implement a Youth Guarantee, Ireland can do much more to help the unemployed, and must ensure that young people are ready and fit for work as the economy strengthens.

Echoing USI’s position, the OECD also calls for the establishment of specific youth entrepreneurship programmes and the imbedding of entrepreneurship into education across all levels and disciplines.

The USI, in collaboration with ICTU and ISSU, has developed a collaborative Youth Position Paper, Locked Out: Investing In A Future For Youth to outline positive responses to this crisis. These include a policy on the Youth Guarantee, best practice for work placements, and graduate entrepreneurship and employability. USI are calling on Government to invest in tackling the youth unemployment crisis, and to do more to combat the intolerable situation facing Irish graduates today.

According to USI President Joe O’Connor, the OECD reports confirm what USI have been saying for quite some time.

With almost 30 per cent of under 25s in Ireland unemployed, many have little choice but to emigrate to secure employment, taking vital skills with them. Initiatives like the Youth Guarantee scheme are crucial to tackling youth unemployment in Ireland, but they need substantial investmentEmigration is not a fix for this crisis. Ireland’s youth want the opportunity to work and to contribute to the economic recovery of our nation. USI is calling on the Government to find real solutions to this very real problem.

 Attempts to link the Back to Education Allowance closer to the employment market are welcome, and the National Skills Map recently proposed by USI, ICTU and ISSU could be utilised in order to do this. But in this process it is vital that funding for Back to Education is not cut.

Download the Locked Out: Investing In A Future For Youth and read the OECD Report here.

For more information contact: Joe O’Connor USI President on 0872191862

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