Speaking after the launch of Sinn Féin’s Youth Jobs Campaign to highlight the 100,000 young people who will be forced to emigrate in the next two years, Sinn Féin election candidate Rose Conway-Walsh has said that a comprehensive youth jobs plan must be implemented by any incoming government as a priority.
Cllr Conway-Walsh said: “As a returned emigrant who had to leave for London in the 80s when there was no prospect of me getting a job in my own country, I know all too well what young men and women who cannot get a job are now going through. Without a serious youth jobs plan we are in danger of losing a generation of talented young people to emigration.
“Sinn Féin’s costed and credible proposals have the potential to get 50,000 young people off the dole immediately and create many more jobs in the years ahead. Our proposals include a youth jobs fund to create 20,000 new jobs, an individual plan for the long-term prospects of every person under 25 on the live register, 2,000 places on a one more language scheme to give the young unemployed a chance to learn an extra foreign language, 5,000 free ECDL places, 10,000 new CE places, 1,000 places on conversion courses at third level to help graduates convert their skills to potential growth sectors, eight measures to treble the number of under 25s who are self-employed including a national entrepreneurship programme, access to credit, and greater support for high potential start-ups.”
Included in Sinn Féin’s proposals is a publicly owned green tech firm for Ireland and a major drive to attract FDI in renewable energy. The party plans on making Ireland a digital media leader through support for skills, infrastructure and entrepreneurship. Sinn Fein plans to implement a national development scheme to employ people directly on public projects employing 2,000 workers and will lift the suspension on the early farm retirement scheme to make farming an option for younger people.
Cllr Conway-Walsh said: “We need to make youth unemployment a priority and we need to beat emigration. Sinn Féin has the proposals and the political will to make this a reality. Mayo cannot afford to lose another generation.”