Wednesday 25 April 2018

Youth unemployment causing 'devastation'

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Tom Burke
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Tom Burke

Gavin White

Unemployment is having a "devastating impact" on the self-esteem of thousands of youngsters, a leading youth group has warned.

The number of people under the age of 25 signing on has risen for the third month in a row.

New figures released yesterday by the Central Statistics Office show there were 32,237 young people under 25 signing on the live register in July, an increase of 2,512 from April.

The figures represent a third monthly increase in a row, while the National Youth Council of Ireland has said more than 11,000 young people in long-term unemployment is "far too high".

Naoise Kavanagh, from youth mental health service Reach Out, said the "biggest myth" was how the gig economy can benefit young people. It can "prove a huge disconnect to the rest of society", according to Ms Kavanagh. "It's getting harder and harder to get full-time employment, as some employers are taking advantage of young people," she said.

Ms Kavanagh raised her concern about the figures and told the Irish Independent that "many young people are in precarious employment".

"We really do create an identity by what we do and if you find yourself in unemployment it can really add to a sense of loneliness," she said.

The NCYI is recommending an extra investment of €47.4m in Budget 2018 to reduce the number of young people in long-term unemployment by the end of 2018.

James Doorley, deputy director of NCYI, told the Irish Independent a "high-quality work experience scheme that could provide more places" was needed to help arrest the rise.

"The nature of employment is changing. There is a lot more precarious employment around this age group and people who are caught between jobs."

Meanwhile, Datapac, a technology solutions and services provider, announced yesterday it will create 35 jobs in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. Enterprise Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the announcement was a "fantastic endorsement" of Irish talent.

Irish Independent

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