Written answers

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Youth Unemployment

Photo of Verona MurphyVerona Murphy (Wexford, Independent)
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332. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the proactive steps his Department will take over the next 12 months to address youth unemployment in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49079/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The issue of employment is a key consideration for both myself and my Government colleagues. Indeed, in the past few weeks I attended a round table discussion convened by the Tánaiste involving Ministers and officials from relevant Departments and the youth sector to consider this issue. I issued a joint press release on 24 September detailing this meeting which may be of interest to the Deputy.

My colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has recently published Pathways to Work 2021 -2025 with a number of key goals. Youth employment and youth employability generally comes within their remit.

With respect to employability and a role for youth services, my Department is working with the Education and Training Boards on a Targeted Youth Employability Support Initiative, beginning in 2021 and for the full year of 2022. This Initiative is supported by the Dormant Accounts Fund. This initiative builds on a similar previous initiative which was reviewed and found that small group and 1 to 1 interventions by youth services proved beneficial in helping hard to reach young people. The ETBs have recently completed an application process and I anticipate that I and my colleague the Minister for Rural and Community Development will receive a submission shortly. This iteration will focus on mentoring, leadership, local networks of NGOs and statutory bodies and outreach programmes.

Further, my Department provides significant funding in both the targeted and universal space to support young people to address range of needs including the provision of age appropriate tools and information related to the acquisition of employment and life skills. Of the over 250 UBU Your Place Your Space funded organisations, 75% include identified target groups of a) youth unemployment or b) young people not in employment, education or training.


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