Athy's generational unemployment has been cited as one of the reasons it has the highest unemployment rate in county Kildare.
According to the latest CSO figures the Athy West urban electoral division had a 35% unemployment rate last year.
Cllr Mark Wall said one of the main problems in Athy is the 'generational unemployment' spanning through families which he said 'needs to be tackled'.
“There are lots of generational unemployment in Athy and we need to tackle that” he said.
“The figures are disappointing and a lot more needs to be invested in Athy. The council met with the IDA today (Thursday) to discuss employment opportunities in Athy. We are also looking at how we can improve business services locally to attract new businesses such as call centres and digital hubs.”
Despite being highest in the county the numbers are on the decrease from 2011. The figures showed that Athy West were down slightly from 40.7% in 2011.
While Athy East urban, with a rate of 24.4%, was also down from 27% in 2011.
Read more: Athy unemployment black spot
Cllr Wall added that a Leader task force has recently been set up for Athy with the aim of increasing employment locally.
“The remit is to look at what are the needs of the town and what are the training needs of the unemployed. A good new development for the town is the apprentice training school which will be based at the Athy Model School. This will bring lots of opportunities for young people to get the level of training that they need for future employment.”
Cllr Wall added that Athy needs to be able to attract new industry in the future that will sustain employment locally.
“We are very disappointed to find ourselves in this postition and we will do all that we can to improve those figures and help Athy attract new industry in the future.”
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