Youth unemployment remains high as training scheme falls short
Just over half of the training and education spaces promised to get young people off the dole in the Youth Guarantee scheme materialised last year, while the number of young people who sign on remains stubbornly high.
People under the age of 25 made up 12.4pc of the Live Register in February - or just under 40,000 of the 319,723 people who signed on last month, according to the latest Live Register figures.
While the overall number of people on the unadjusted Live Register has fallen - with 35,401 fewer people signing on last month than a year ago - the number of young people claiming unemployment benefits is still way too high, even though the number of under-25s signing on has been steadily decreasing since July 2010, according the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).
"The reality is that jobs are being created, but a lot of young people are still struggling to find employment, especially those without experience or who have been unemployed for awhile," said NYCI deputy director James Doorley.
He noted that the 20.1pc youth unemployment rate is more than double the current unemployment rate of 8.8pc, the lowest in eight years.
Mr Doorley said the Irish Youth Guarantee - a much touted EU initiative to get under-25s into good-quality employment, education, apprenticeships or training programmes within four months of being unemployed - had failed to deliver as promised when launched by Tánaiste Joan Burton in 2014.
Only 14,650 of 28,350 places were allocated last year, following a shortfall of 5,137 places in 2014 when €336m was spent to place 23,213 people in various initiatives.