Youth group bids to stem flow of emigration
More than 177,000 young people have emigrated since the recession began and nearly a third of those remaining are unemployed.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) called for priority measures to tackle high unemployment and the exodus of young people at an Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday.
It also demanded a 1pc levy on drinks manufacturers to generate €25m to replace drinks industry sponsorship of large sporting and cultural events.
The council said this money could be used to support initiatives to reduce alcohol-related harm among young people.
It added that cuts to youthwork services must be stopped, as young people have suffered very badly from the economic fallout of recent years.
Unemployment among young people is now at 28.6pc compared to 13.3pc in 2008.
That was even though more than 177,000 young people had also emigrated in that time.
NYCI deputy director James Doorley said that youth services had been hit with cuts of 30pc in the last five years.
"The figures make it clear there is a pressing need for government to invest in measures to support youth employment and youth work services and to stem emigration," he said.
The NYCI called for cuts of €3m in funding of youth work services for 2014 to be cancelled.
It also demanded special supports for disadvantaged young jobseekers with limited qualifications. An extra €1m is also being sought to provide pre-departure supports for prospective emigrants.