FF youth strategy is realistic - O’Fearghail

A €52 million euro job creation plan by Fianna Fáil is realistic, Kildare South TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl, has said.

A €52 million euro job creation plan by Fianna Fáil is realistic, Kildare South TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl, has said.

Welcoming the publication of the party’s Strategy on Youth Unemployment he said there are currently 2,886 young people under the age of 25 in County Kildare on the Live Register. “We need specific policies brought forward to help them to start a career here in Ireland.”

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said the unemployment crisis has undoubtedly hit the younger generation the hardest. “There are now over 2,800 young people across Kildare who are unemployed. While this represents a decrease month-on-month and year-on-year, this reduction would largely be the result of emigration. This is heartbreaking for so many families and we urgently need an ambitious action plan to deal with this crisis.”

“The Government’s various jobs plans have all failed to address the specific issue of youth unemployment and are not having the desired effect of stimulating the domestic economy and creating jobs.

The FF proposals include training 100,000 young job seekers with ICT skills over the next four years to address the immediate skills shortage in the technology sector; strengthening and expanding JobBridge to add 5,000 more places for graduates under 25; and the abolition of Employer PRSI for new employees under 25 earning less than €356 for a period of two years.

Deputy O’Fearghail said the strategy also proposed “dramatically reforming education, welfare and employment services introducing education and training vouchers on a pilot basis.”

“This is a realistic and affordable plan that will make a real difference to young people in Kildare and across the county who are out of work. It will require an investment of €52 million but the cost of not taking any action is far greater.”

He argued that apart from the huge social cost to a generation being out of work for a long time, the total social welfare bill for young job-seekers is one billion euros at present.

“We consider this strategy an affordable and urgently required investment in our young people and in the future of this country.”