independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Council to aid jobless youth

Martin McGuinness, Enda Kenny and Peter Robinson are to boost north/south co-operation in tackling youth unemployment

The level of north/south co-operation in tackling youth unemployment is to be increased.

Young people have been hardest hit by recession, with thousands out of work or competing for relatively low paid jobs.

The North South Ministerial Council of Ministers - which includes Taoiseach Enda Kenny, First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness - today agreed both jurisdictions should collaborate to help people back to work.

Mr McGuinness said: "We have taken a decision that we are going to try to increase the work rate between departments, meaning increased collaboration and increased results for the people that we represent. We need to ensure that the progress continues."

In Northern Ireland 22.5% of people aged 18-24 were unemployed between June and August.

According to youth organisations in the Republic earlier this year, the scale of emigration of out of work young people was devastating the economy.

Hundreds of thousands have left, with the UK, Australia and Canada among the most popular destinations.

The ministerial meeting also discussed the European Union's Youth Guarantee plan to offer quality apprenticeships.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said ministers mulled over options for promoting education and training. They also considered how to grow their economies and noted both jurisdictions were attracting increased levels of foreign investment.

"Today was a very forward-looking meeting, a meeting about working together to improve our economies and to improve the opportunities for employment and a better quality of life," he said.

Press Association

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