Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Challenges to Ireland's Competitiveness: Discussion
It is important to note that in the recent budget, fewer apprenticeship places were announced for 2022 compared with 2021. Some of us remain to be convinced that adequate resources and effort are being put into ensuring we have a sufficient skills pipeline of training and apprenticeship programmes in the construction sector in particular, as in other sectors, that will be badly needed in future years.
I have another question about youth unemployment. We know youth unemployment levels have always been almost double that of the unemployment level for the whole population. On the initiatives taken at present, do we really believe we can dramatically reduce the pre-pandemic unemployment levels of between 15% and 17%? This has been a long-standing issue in the Irish economy, about which there have been some initiatives taken but no radical or comprehensive youth unemployment strategy forthcoming for some time. What are the witness's thoughts on these issues?