Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has warned the Government against any attempt to water down the youth guarantee, saying it will have grave consequences for the economy. Deputy Calleary has called on the Government to immediately rule out any extension of the four month waiting period for guaranteed access to a job, training, or further education. “This pledge was very clear: No young job seeker will be waiting for more than four months for a meaningful job or training opportunity. There can be no deviating from this promise,” said Deputy Calleary.
He went on to say, “We are losing a generation to youth unemployment and emigration. Nearly one in every three people under the age of 25 who are ready and able for work cannot get a job. Many more are underemployed, while thousands of our school and college leavers have been forced to emigrate for a job. Now more than ever, we need to give our young people an iron-clad pledge that they do have a future here in Ireland and they will not be waiting for it. We know from bitter experience that the longer someone is on the Live Register the harder it is for them to get back to the workplace. The youth guarantee is one step towards minimising that lost time in a young job seeker’s life. Any attempt to extend the four month waiting period – or more than double it to nine months – must be ruled out immediately.”
He concluded by saying, “This is one promise that the Government cannot afford to break. A lack of funding is not an excuse if this truly is a priority for this Government. For instance right now, the Government is sitting on an unspent resource of over €117 million in the National Training Fund. This could immediately be diverted into training programmes for young job seekers. I am calling on the Government to categorically state that there will be no attempt to pull back from the youth guarantee pledge.”