Written answers

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Department of Social Protection

Youth Unemployment Measures

Photo of Colm KeaveneyColm Keaveney (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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206. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons, by county, who are 24 years of age or younger and in receipt of a jobseeker's benefit or a jobseeker's allowance, with the numbers for each payment provided separately; the number, by county, who are not participating in any training, education or job activation scheme; the number of dedicated training placements she has made exclusively available to those who are 24 years of age or younger; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28622/15]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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Table 1 shows the number of persons on the Live Register at the end of June, by county, who are 24 years of age or younger, classified by payment type.

The only available measure of young persons who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) is from the Eurostat Labour Force Survey (in Ireland the Quarterly National Household Survey, or QNHS). Data from this sample survey are not available at the county level. The most recently published Eurostat data indicate that in 2014, on average, 15.2% of young people aged 15-24 years (or approximately 79,000 young people) were in this situation.

Table 2 sets out the number of training and other programme places set aside for young people in each of the years 2014 and 2015.

The Government’s primary strategy to tackle youth unemployment is through policies to create the environment for a strong economic recovery by promoting competitiveness and productivity. However, the Government recognises that as the recovery takes hold, there is a need for additional measures to ensure that as many as possible of the jobs created are taken up by unemployed jobseekers and, in accordance with the EU Council recommendation for a Youth Guarantee by young jobseekers under 25 in particular. This is the rationale behind the Government’s Pathways to Work strategy and the Youth Guarantee plan.

As, under services such as Intreo, Youthreach, VTOS, PLC programmes, and JobBridge, Ireland already had many of the recommended component parts of a Youth Guarantee, the main plank in Ireland is to prioritise access to these existing supports for young people, who become unemployed, with the objective of ensuring that they have an opportunity for employment, further education or work experience within the recommended period of four months as per the EU council recommendation.

In this regard our first intervention is to provide case officer support to help newly unemployed young people find and secure sustainable jobs. Accordingly operating processes are being refined in each of our regions to prioritise the early engagement of young people through Intreo to ensure that all young people receive expert advice and have access to progression options. For those who do not find employment through the process just described, additional offers are provided for. Most such offers (over 70%) are in existing further education or training programmes. Others are in existing community-based employment programmes such as CE, Gateway and Tús. Overall, over 23,300 opportunities were taken up on the relevant programmes in 2014.

Reflecting the impact of government policy, and the overall improvement in the labour market, youth unemployment continues to fall (with a rate of 19.8% in June 2015 estimated by CSO, as compared to 24.1% in June 2014 and with a peak of over 31% in 2012).

Table 1. The number of persons, by county, aged 24 years of age or younger, who were on the Live Register at end June 2015, classified by payment type.

CountyJobseeker's Benefit claimantsJobseeker's Allowance applicantsApplicants for CreditsTotal
Carlow349214959
Cavan45107251122
Clare64100721073
Cork3173629253971
Donegal125267092804
Dublin766108096811643
Galway145205242201
Kerry96138591490
Kildare1492090132252
Kilkenny487682818
Laois50116111212
Leitrim223473372
Limerick88200592102
Longford276182647
Louth92210482204
Mayo107133631446
Meath68111261186
Monaghan234002425
Offaly54131681378
Roscommon314185454
Sligo396404683
Tipperary NR379505992
Tipperary SR1011171131285
Waterford931462161571
Westmeath55128371345
Wexford1302257112398
Wicklow761376121464
State Total28824635925649497

Table 2. The number of dedicated training placements per annum for 2014 and 2015 made exclusively available to those who are 24 years of age or younger;

ProgrammeExpected full-year intake
Youthreach/CTC3,300
JobBridge (including developmental internship)5,000
Tús1,000
JobsPlus1,500
Momentum2,000
BTEA (excl Momentum)3,300
BTWEA200
VTOS500
FÁS/Solas9500
CEB youth Entrepreneurship

Training and Mentoring supports
700
CEB/MFI micro-loans for young people150
International Work Experience and Training250
Gateway450
Community Employment500
Total 28,350

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