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Almost 8,000 people under the age of 26 are in long-term unemployment

The National Youth Council of Ireland has called for a €22m investment to resolve the issue.

Image: /Photocall Ireland

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE aged 26 and under have been unemployed for a year or more, figured obtained by the National Youth Council show.

Data supplied to Independent TD Tommy Broughan via a Parliamentary Question show that almost 8,000 young people in Ireland have been unemployed for 12 months or more.

Ahead of Budget 2019, which will be announced tomorrow, the group says an investment of €22 million would halve long-term youth unemployment by the end of next year.

“We need the development of, and investment in, an access apprenticeships programme to support young people with fewer opportunities and qualifications,” James Doorley, NYCI’s deputy director, said. 

“While we welcome job growth in the Irish economy and the consistent trend of reduced youth unemployment, we are concerned about the 7,817 young people under 26 who are now long-term unemployed.”

Dublin saw the highest number of young people in long-term unemployment with 1,697 people aged 26 and under having no job, followed by Cork (526) and Limerick (469).

At the opposite end of the scale, Leitrim had the lowest number of unemployed people aged 26 and under with 71, followed by Monaghan (79) and Sligo (104).

Entrance criteria

The council welcomed the growth in apprenticeships in the last number of years, particularly the introduction of new schemes in areas such as animation, horticulture and healthcare.

However, it also called for a €2m investment to help more young people access apprenticeship programmes, saying opportunities should remain open to all young people, particularly those who were are economically and socially disadvantaged.

“For example, the entrance criteria for some apprenticeships now require qualifications to a certain level in some subjects,” Doorley said.

“Where a young person has the motivation and aptitude for a trade but cannot meet these entrance criteria, an access programme can assist the young applicant to meet the entry requirements.”

The council also proposed that the Government provided of an additional 2,650 education and training places at a cost of €20m, which it said would lead to reduced social welfare payments as more young people moved into employment.

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