MINISTER JOAN BURTON remains confident about the Youth Guarantee scheme, despite concerns that it may not be able to offer employment to young adults within four months of them becoming unemployed.
Speaking today with RTÉ’s News at One, she said that the level of unemployment in Ireland has already fallen from above 3o per cent to 28 per cent.
When asked about the concerns that young people would not be offered jobs within four months of becoming unemployed, she said:
We will have 20,000 extra places next year that will be specifically ring-fenced for young people under 26 years of age in addition to another 59,000 places which are for people of all ages which young people will be able to apply for as well.
She said that due to a number of factors, she is “very confident that we will have a range of very fulfilling interesting training places, education places, work experience places and employment available to young people during 2014″.
However, she added that the government needs to sign off with the EU on this first.
She pointed out that the Youth Guarantee will be phased in over 2014 and that on 1 January any young person who is more than six months unemployed will be eligible to be taken on by an employer in Jobs Plus.
She added that they are working at the moment with departments right across government on the issue.
Burton said she has been talking with the European Investment Bank, which is targeting additional funding to Ireland to help young people starting up their own business and other initiatives in relation to education and training.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny queried if any country is in a position to make an offer to an unemployed young person within four months.
Speaking on his way into the Cabinet meeting today, he said: “I suppose the challenge really is this: Is any country in a position to actually make an offer to a young person under 26 who becomes unemployed within four months, and if so if it is a meaningful offer of an internship, an apprenticeship or or a job.”