National Youth Council says Budget 2021 fails to support youth unemployment

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

The National Youth Council (NYCI) said they are disappointed with Budget 2021 and the measures to address youth unemployment.

With 36.5 per cent youth unemployment, 55,000 young people under 25 on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and almost 29,000 on the live register, they said more needs to be done.

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance, Pascal Donohoe said 320,000 jobs are expected to be lost this year, adding that 155,000 new positions will be created in 2021.

"While the uncertainty about the future of lives and livelihoods is great, we will prevail and build a stronger Ireland," Mr Donohoe said. "Budget 2021 is a bridge to that future."

He also stated that "protecting employment and increasing our public health care capacity was the priority," and that the "cornerstone" of the Government's budget was the €3.4 billion recovery fund.

However, today the NYCI- which represents groups working with over 380,000 young people nationwide -said they are disappointment at the measures contained in the Budget to deal with the high levels of youth unemployment.

Education and training

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Reacting to the budget James Doorley, NYCI deputy director said:

“Ministers Donohue and McGrath both noted and accepted the impact of the pandemic on the job prospects of young people and the high levels of youth unemployment in their budget speeches.

"But the actual measures contained in the Budget to deal with the challenge was disappointing, given the scale and scope of the problem.

"We welcome the extra 10,000 places in education and training and an expansion of the apprenticeship incentivisation scheme on top of existing measures. We also note the announcement of a further €10m in activation measures by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

“However, with 83,000 young people out of work, these measures in our view are insufficient."

He said it must be remembered that the additional 10,000 places are for jobseekers of all ages and with demand high, we are very concerned that there will not be enough supports and places for all young people who need them.

Mr Doorley said from past recessions we have seen the best policy is to keep young people "close to the labour market" by supporting them to reorient their career and furthering their education, upskilling and retraining in sectors where there is demands for worker.

"We are concerned that without such measures, thousands of young people are facing many grim months unemployed and on the reduced PUP payments with limited options and opportunities,” concluded Mr Doorley.

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