Funds must be used well in finding jobs for young
ONE in four Irish people aged under 25 is currently on the dole and some 30,000 of them have been unemployed for over a year. If nothing else, naked self-interest should make the older generation ponder that figure today. After all, in another short few years you may be relying on those younger people's taxes to pay your pension, something they cannot do if they remain excluded from the labour market.
Ireland's youth unemployment is alarming and must be seen in the light of the steady flow of emigrants to Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and other places. But we need only look to our EU neighbours Greece and Spain, where the youth jobless rate is nearer 50 per cent, to know that our story could be far worse.
Given those dispiriting figures we must welcome the announcement yesterday that the EU is putting up a fund worth €6bn over the coming years to combat youth unemployment. Of course this money is not enough – the International Labour Organisation and European Youth Forum estimate that something like a €22bn investment is required to make any real impact.