Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue has published a Fianna Fáil Strategy on Youth Unemployment, setting out a range of ambitious policies aimed specifically at providing work opportunities for young people.
The Donegal North East TD pointed out that there are currently 3,980 people under the age of 25 on the Live Register in Co. Donegal and so far there have been no specific policies to help them to start a career here in Ireland.
Speaking at the launch in Dublin this week Deputy McConlogue said: “The unemployment crisis has undoubtedly hit the younger generation the hardest. There are now almost 4,000 unemployed young people in Co. Donegal alone and thousands more have been forced to leave home to find work. This is heartbreaking for so many families. We urgently need an ambitious action plan to deal with this crisis.
“The Government’s various jobs plans have all failed to address the specific issue of youth unemployment and have made very little difference to the jobs crisis in Donegal. Politicians from all parties have a responsibility to show our young people that we are working hard to bring forward ideas on job creation and that we will not allow this generation to be drawn into a cycle of emigration and long term unemployment.
“Fianna Fáil is bringing forward a range of sector specific initiatives to provide our young people with the best possible chance of starting career at home and ensuring the younger generation has the skills needed to attract more jobs into the future.
Our proposals include:
- Training 100,000 young job seekers with ICT skills over the next four years to address the immediate skills shortage in the technology sector;
- Strengthening and expanding JobBridge to add 5,000 more places for graduates under 25;
- Abolishing employer PRSI for new employees under 25 earning less than €356 for a period of two years
- Dramatically reforming education, welfare and employment services introducing education and training vouchers on a pilot basis.
“This is a realistic and affordable plan that will make a real difference to young people in Donegal and across the country who are out of work. It will require an investment of €52 million but the cost of not taking any action is far greater. Apart from the huge social cost of a generation being underemployed, the total social welfare bill for young job-seekers is €1 billion at present. We consider this strategy an affordable and urgently required investment in our young people and in the future of this country.”