Getting our young people back to work is the key to reviving rural Ireland - Clune
Youth Unemployment falls to 19.7% today, November 3rd, but youth unemployment remains one of the EUs biggest failings according to Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune
"Last week in the European Parliament, we voted through more funding to tackle youth unemployment across Europe which ranges between 15% and 50% in different member states. I was a negotiator on the EU employment budget team and pushed hard for a half a billion euro increase in the EU budgets to tackle Youth Unemployment across the EU.
"Targeted Funding is critical to getting our young people back to work. We have frontloaded €1 billion to speed up the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative to help up to 650,000 young people find jobs, apprenticeships, traineeships or continued education across Europe.
"Around 5 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU last year in December 2014. This represents an unemployment rate of 21.4% which rises to 50% in some EU countries. It is simply unacceptable that 1 in 5 Europeans under the age of 25 are unemployed.
"In Ireland, youth unemployment is going down and the latest figure of 19.7%, whilst a welcome decrease, is far too high. This is having a serious impact on rural communities, many of whom are struggling to survive. I see it every time I travel through the Ireland South constituency.
"We need increased funding for investment in skills training, matching skills training to skills shortages, labour mobility and targeted measures to increase the amount of real quality jobs for young people, in particular in rural Ireland. Getting younger people back to work is the key to sustaining rural Ireland.
"Stephen McNally, president of the Irish Hotels Federation recently pointed to the fact that, once again, Irelands hospitality industry is struggling to fill up to 3,000 job vacancies. When we have a youth unemployment rate of 19.7%, this points to a clear issue with a mismatch between what skills our young people have and what skills the labour market needs.