Date Released: 05 September 2013
Three national student and trade union bodies issued a joint call Thursday (5th September)for immediate government action to address the youth jobs crisis and have proposed the adoption of a new National Jobs Strategy for Young People to tackle the problem.
Together, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the Irish Second Level Students’ Union (ISSU), have called for an end to the ‘lock-out’ of young people from the jobs market and proposed a range of measures to improve access to the workplace and enhance employment skills.
The three organisations are seeking joint meetings with “all relevant government ministers and departments” on foot of the proposals.
The measures are contained in a new, joint publication - Locked out? Investing in a Future for Youth - to be launched later today (11.30am, DIT Aungier Street).
The document is the result of a collaborative process between all three organisations, collectively representing more than one million people and includes a number of key demands:
Speaking on behalf of the Congress Youth Committee, Lorraine Mulligan said: “We cannot afford to lose a generation to precarious work, joblessness or emigration. We need a clear strategy to tackle the problems facing young people, including investment in a Youth Guarantee, offering employment or training opportunities and ensuring decent pay and working conditions for those in the labour force.”
USI President, Joe O’Connor, said: “Some 35,000 young people left Ireland in the last year, as a direct result of policies that didn’t offer them genuine opportunities, while a further 65,000 young people remain unemployed here.
“Many are highly-qualified graduates who benefited from huge state investment through their education and would prefer to stay and contribute to our national recovery. But the opportunities just aren’t there. That has to change,” Mr O’Connor said.
ISSU President, Mark Caffrey, said: "The issue of youth unemployment and underemployment has not gone away. It is crucial that major steps are taken to ensure that opportunities are created for young people so their employment prospects improve. We need to end this 21st Century Lockout of young people from work and opportunity.”