The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today (Thursday, 27th March 2014) visited the Ballymun Youth Guarantee event which is showcasing the range of courses and employment opportunities available to jobseekers aged between 18 -24 years in the Ballymun area.
The aim of the EU-wide Youth Guarantee is to provide young people under the age of 25 with a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a short time of becoming unemployed.
Speaking at the event, Minister Burton said:
“In some EU countries, the rate of youth unemployment is close to 60%. Thankfully, recent data on youth employment and unemployment levels in Ireland are more positive – the level of youth emigration has stabilised, youth employment is growing slightly and the level of youth unemployment has fallen. The most recent data from Eurostat shows our youth unemployment rate at 25%, a reduction of 8 percentage points from its peak level. But this is still far too high.”
The Youth Guarantee is a guarantee, supported by central EU funding of €6 billion, that national governments will do all they can to ensure that young unemployed people under the age of 25 are supported to secure a job or receive a work experience, training or educational opportunity within a short period of becoming unemployed.
The Ballymun Youth Guarantee pilot was one of the first of its kind to receive approval from the EU Commission, and is leading the way in informing the further development and roll out of the national plan.
As part of the Ballymun pilot Youth Guarantee, each young jobseeker in the area will receive a guarantee of access to career guidance, leading to identification of an individual career plan with follow-through to training, education, work experience or full-time employment.
Minister Burton continued: “Over the course of 2014 and beyond, processes and programmes will be progressively rolled out to ensure that young unemployed people who have a low probability of finding employment without significant support will receive a Youth Guarantee offer within four months. The Government expects to provide a Guarantee offer to circa 30,000 young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment this year.
“In this way, our young unemployed people will be offered the opportunities they need to remain active in, attached to, and aligned with the requirements of the labour market. As I said at the recent launch of Ireland’s implementation plan, the Youth Guarantee can be summed up in a single word: opportunities. It’s about making sure we give our young people the opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. And today we see a great example of the wide range of opportunities that are available.”
Over 20 public employment services, employer representatives, education and training providers, local development and youth organisations showcased their services and opportunities in the Civic Centre today and included organisations such as Plunkett College, City of Dublin Education and Training Board, Whitehall College, Supervalu, UCD Innovation Academy, Comfort Keepers and Ballymun Jobs Centre.
Speaking with young jobseekers at the event, Minister Burton said:
“The opportunities that you see here today are the building blocks for your future career, prosperity and fulfilment. I am strongly encouraging you to examine the opportunities and get all the information that you need to decide the career path that you want to follow. Experienced guidance workers from the Ballymun Job Club will continue to support you while you’re progressing along your pathway to employment.”
Minister Burton concluded by thanking the members of the Local Implementation Group for organising the event and all of the exhibitors for taking the time to raise awareness of the education and training courses and work experience opportunities that they deliver. She also paid tribute to the work of the Ballymun Regional Youth Resource (BRYR) for encouraging the young people in the area to come along today to see them for themselves what is available to help them decide their future career direction.