Date Released: 08 November 2013
The youth committee’s of the Communications Workers’ Union and the TEEU are urging all unemployed people to publicly reject letters from the Department of Social Protection advertising overseas jobs and attend the Youth Assembly in Liberty Hall tomorrow.
The CWU representatives said at a protest outside the Dáil on Friday, 8th November, that the government is now tacitly encouraging young unemployed people to emigrate and that anyone receiving such a letter should tear it up in an act of defiance.
CWU Youth Committee Chair, Derek Keenan, said: "The decision to send unemployed workers information pertaining to jobs abroad is a clear admission by the government that it is totally bereft of any coherent jobs strategy.
“While the government pays lip service to providing opportunities for young unemployed workers to retrain or return to education, recent budgetary decisions such as the reductions in Jobseekers Allowance, increases in student fees and the introduction of registration fees for apprentices all contribute to making staying and educating yourself in Ireland increasingly prohibitive.
On the issue of Registration fees for apprentices, TEEU Organiser Brian Nolan, said: "By imposing these exorbitant fees on Apprentices the Government have managed to attack the most vulnerable of Workers, most of whom earn less than the National minimum wage during their Apprenticeship.
“These Young men and women who commit to a Craft apprenticeship (that is considered one of the best in the world) need every assistance to ensure that they obtain the relevant qualifications. This latest move by the Government could result in the completion of an apprenticeship being financially out of reach for many. That said, the Irish Government have misjudged the resolve of Young Workers in this country and they may well have to deal with the backlash".
Ronan Burtenshaw, of the youth campaign group We're Not Leaving, said: "This policy of supporting mass emigration has to be stopped. We're Not Leaving supports Friday's protest by the TEEU and CWU, and encourages young people to tell the Department of Social Protection where they can stick what amount to eviction notices for a generation.
“We encourage all of those attending to join us in Liberty Hall on Saturday, 9th November, from 11.00 a.m. for a Young People's Assembly. It's time for young people to organise and fight back."