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58,000 of 'Lost Generation' forced to leave

MORE than 58,000 people under 25 will emigrate over the next year, according to the authors of a new study.

'The Forgotten Generation' gives a worrying insight into the difficulties faced by young jobseekers, according to National Youth Council of Ireland president Orlaith McBride.

Official figures show that a third of all young men in Ireland are unemployed, but the real number is masked by those staying in the education system or emigrating, she said.

The research consisted of one-to-one interviews with 90 young jobseekers, all of whom agreed that the prospect of securing rewarding employment in Ireland was not very good.

Other findings included:

  • 70pc agreed it is likely that they will emigrate in the next 12 months.
  • 90pc agreed that being unemployed has a negative effect on their sense of well-being.
  • 50pc rated the quality of the information or support provided by a social welfare job facilitator as unsatisfactory or poor.

Youth council assistant director James Doorley said the research confirmed that the consequences of rising unemployment are severe for young people.

The services provided by FAS and the Department of Social Protection are uncoordinated, incoherent, over-stretched and in many cases unsuitable or not geared toward the needs of young people, he said.

Young jobseekers associated their unemployment with hopelessness, despair and lack of choice along with some cases of depression.

Financial hardship was highlighted frequently and contributed to a sense of frustration particularly in relation to social welfare when applications are taking months to process.

One of the lost generation, 23-year-old Daniel Sheerin, yesterday spoke of his disappointment at being forced to go abroad to get a job. An honours business studies graduate, he is the fourth of six friends from DIT to leave the country and is heading to New York.

"I'm devastated, but have no option," said Daniel. Since he finished last May, he has had some part-time jobs but there is nothing permanent in sight.

He has nothing lined up in the US yet and is busy polishing off his CV and applying for jobs.

"I've sold my car and will have to borrow a couple of thousand euro from the bank to get started in the States -- that's if they will give it to me," he said.

Irish Independent