James Doorley National Youth Council of Ireland says much more should be done to tackle long term youth unemployment
The problem of youth unemployment in Longford has been highlighted after figures revealed that at around 300 young people under the age of 26 in the county have been unemployed for six months or more.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) - whose members work with over 380,000 young people nationwide - has highlighted concerns at the number of young people in the county who are unemployed for 6 months or more.
The latest statistics from the Department of Social Protection show that the number of young people under 26 in Longford in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit for 6 months or more is 298, according to NYCI.
Commenting on the figures James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said: “We are concerned at the number of young people who are unemployed in Longford, particularly those unemployed for six months or more. This disappointing figure is mirrored at the national level, where we have over 11,711 young people long-term unemployed.”
“The EU Youth Guarantee Programme guarantees a work, education or training opportunity to any young person unemployed for four months or more. In 2013, the Government committed to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland. Yet four years on, despite the improving economy and labour market, we still have too many young people out of work,” explained Mr Doorley.
The NYCI is calling on Government to develop an action plan under this scheme in order to reduce the number of young long term unemployed to 5,000 - more than halving long term youth unemployment by the end of 2018.
Census figures for 2016 released last week once again highlighted the fact that Longford is an unemployment blackspot with an overall unemployment rate of 19.6%, the highest in the state.
According to Census 2016 figures, there were 18,873 persons in the labour force in county