Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy says he is extremely disappointed by the Live Register figures released on Wednesday this week which revealed that the Midlands was the only region to record both a monthly and yearly increase in the number of people signing on.
The Fianna Fáil deputy commented: “It’s clear that the Government strategy on job creation is not impacting on the Midlands. The CSO figures out today show more than 300 people joined the Live Register in January. The comparison with January last year shows an increase of 84 in the number of people signing on.
“Fine Gael and Labour are not doing enough to support local small businesses but it’s also clear that the Midlands is not a priority for the Government when it comes to trying to secure foreign direct investment for Ireland. There has been a lack of engagement by the IDA, particularly on promotion of the IDA park in Mullingar.
“Youth unemployment is a major concern with almost 6,000 people on the Live Register in the Midlands under 25. Fianna Fáil has published a National Strategy on Youth Unemployment which proposes the following measures:
- Train 100,000 young job seekers with ICT skills over the next four years to address the immediate skills shortage in the technology sector
- Establish a programme providing 1,000 internships in the IFSC
- Strengthen and expand JobBridge to add 5,000 more places for graduates under 25
- Dramatically reform education, welfare, and employment services introducing education and training vouchers on a pilot basis.”
Deputy Troy added: “The scourge of long-term unemployment is also a major issue that is not being addressed in the Midlands or by the Government across the country. There are now almost 190,000 people across the country long-term unemployed, a 3.3 per cent increase in the past year.
“The Government has produced a jobs initiative, the Action on Jobs, established NewERA and promised tens of thousands of jobs attached to each proposal. Not alone are we not seeing the impact of this nationally, the problem is worse in the Midlands and is clearly not being prioritised by the Government,” he concluded.