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Friday 29 August 2014

Burton believes unemployment issue can be traced to people's schooldays

Densie Calnan

Published 17/04/2014 | 11:02

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Joan Burton

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton believes Ireland’s unemployment issue can be traced to people’s schooldays.

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Minister Joan Burton says she believes most unemployed people in Ireland do want to work, but that the problem stems from their days in education.

The Labour Party deputy leader also said that she thinks the worst feature of the Irish education system is the lack of work experience involved at third-level.

“I think people can do badly in school and not be engaged by the education system, by the age of sixteen they are bored and frustrated and they drop out of school to work,” the Minister said this morning.

“It was fine to get a job during the boom but at 18, they could be in social welfare and you meet them when they’re 22 and still nothing has happened for them.”

The Minister also told of how she has been speaking with Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to encourage more universities to include work experience as part of their programme.

“The worst feature of the Irish education system is the lack of work experience,” she told Ray D’Arcy on Today FM.

“If students have completed five years of fulltime education, it’s a massive investment and during that time they should have had serious work experience.

“I have been talking to my colleague Ruairi Quinn,” she continued, “and a number of universities in Ireland already do extensive work experience. We to get people experience during long years of studying.”

The Minister told the show she never feels overwhelmed by her role in Government.

“With my job I meet some of the worst consequences of the crash, but I also meet the attitude of ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’. My view is to make everyone in Ireland, whether employed or not, a participant in society.”

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