OFFALY Deputy Spokesperson on Social Protection Barry Cowen 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.
Deputy Cowen pointed out that there are currently 1,657 people under the age of 25 in Offaly on the Live Register and so far there have been no specific policies to help them to start a career here in Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Cowen said, “The unemployment crisis has hit the younger generation the hardest and young people in Midlands have been hit particularly hard. There are now 1,657 young people in Co Offaly who are unemployed and the extent of the problem is clearly being masked by emigration. This is heartbreaking for so many families. We urgently need an ambitious action plan to deal with this crisis.”
He said 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 Offaly and across the Midlands.
Politicians from all parties, he said, have a responsibility to show young people that they are working hard to bring forward ideas on job creation and that they will not allow this generation to be drawn into a cycle of emigration and long term unemployment.
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, introducing extensive graduate programmes to all the state supported banks and dramatically reforming education, welfare and employment services introducing education and training vouchers on a pilot basis.