Nine young people are becoming unemployed in the west each day which means the Government’s Youth Guarantee scheme for under 25s is either not being implemented or is not working.
This is the view of Sinn Féin city councillor Máiréad Farrell, who was speaking following the release of the latest Live Register figures.
Cllr Farrell says that while there is a “fractional drop” in the overall numbers of unemployed, the figures for under 25 unemployed has actually gone up. According to the seasonally adjusted figures, the number went from 61,448 to 62,082, with another 634 unemployed by the end of July. In the Border, Midlands and West region, the figure went from 20,113 in June to 20,384 in July; an increase of 271.
“No one in the communities I represent is under any illusion as to the lack of emphasis being placed on employment for young people by this Government,” said Cllr Farrell. “You only have to ask those across Galway trying to field football and hurling teams this summer to realise the impact youth unemployment and emigration is having.”
Cllr Farrell says the figures raise serious questions about the Youth Guarantee scheme and she believes there are not enough case workers to provide sufficient support and guidance to facilitate adequate choices or options.
“Compulsory work for less than minimum wage on the likes of JobBridge in an area or sector that provides no future prospects is not an opportunity,” she said. “It is discriminatory and exploitative. Using a stick to force young people onto compulsion work programmes to massage numbers on the Live Register is wrong and disingenuous