THE National Youth Council of Ireland has called for a €191m investment for young jobseekers in the July Jobs Initiative.
Latest figures show the number of people under the age of 25 in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payment is almost 90,000 – with 27,143 of them in Dublin.
Nationally there are also 50,000 jobseekers under the age of 25 on the Live Register and other social protection supports.
NYCI says almost 140,000 young jobseekers need concrete measures and actions to support them into education, training, apprenticeships and employment.
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James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director, said: “NYCI is calling for investment in programmes such as the Back to Education Allowance, SOLAS training programmes, the Youth Employment Support Scheme, a national Access to Apprenticeship Programme and Jobsplus Youth that will support up to 28,000 young people.
“Further investment and actions will be required later this year, in light of the scale of the challenge, but we need to make a start now and give young people some hope and support.”
He added: “The latest numbers available are stark. A total of 89,544 young people under 25 are currently in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), which is 22% of all of those receiving the payment.
“It is also important to note that before the pandemic hit, despite job growth in the Irish economy and the welcome decline since the last crisis, youth unemployment in December 2019 stood at 12.6%.
“This was three times the overall unemployment rate.”
The number of young people on the PUP since the peak in early May has declined by 32,000, but the reality is that even if half exit the scheme it will still leave 45,000 young people out of work.
Mr Doorley warned: “As a society and an economy, we cannot afford to make the mistakes of the past, where young people were left to linger on the dole queues for years on end and the Governmental response was slow and inadequate.
“That is why NYCI is calling for actions and investment now and €191m investment. We acknowledge that this may appear a large sum, but the cost of leaving 28,000 young people on the dole for a year would be €164m, so the net cost of the measures we are proposing would be just €27m.”