SINN Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has emphasised the urgent need to tackle youth unemployment including putting in place a ‘Youth Jobs Guarantee’.
“Welcoming confirmation received by his party’s MEP, Martina Anderson that the EU Commission will present a Council recommendation on a Youth Guarantee in December, Mr Hazzard said: “This confirmation by the EU Commission that it will present a Council recommendation in December is welcome news. We are constantly being told that the EU is prioritising youth unemployment but as yet we have seen only the smallest concrete measures even being considered.
“With more than 5 million young people across the EU not being able to find work, the importance of the confirmation won by Martina Anderson is that it removes any excuse for domestic governments not to act by clearing the way for the possible use of the European Social Fund to support programmes aimed at tackling this problem. Youth Jobs Guarantees already operate in some of the EU countries with the lowest rates of youth unemployment including Austria and the Netherlands.”
“Given the global economic downturn and crisis in capitalism, young workers can often only access precarious, temporary jobs or low paid/unpaid traineeships which offer little real prospect of career progression.
“Unfortunately emigration is seen as the only option by many of our young people. All the difficulties associated with youth unemployment are not going to go away without deliberate and determined intervention.
“I will be watching very closely the development of a European Commission ‘Quality Framework for Traineeships’ and the consideration of rules with regard to pay, social protection, duration and certification within a traineeship agreement/contract, including professional and learning objectives.
“In light of the commitment received by my colleague, Martina Anderson MEP, I would urge DEL Minister, Stephen Farry to ensure that his Department is fully prepared to take full advantage of these proposals as soon as they are finalised.”