Labour’s MEP for Dublin, Emer Costello, has called for ‘parity of esteem’ for vocational education to encourage young people follow career paths that will lead to employment. She has also called on the European Commission to publish their proposals for Quality Framework for Traineeships agreed at European level to ensure that young people acquire high-quality work experience under safe conditions and to guard against exploitation. Ms Costello was speaking at a conference on the delivery of a "European Youth Guarantee" in Swords on October 11th.
According to Emer Costello: Ireland’s rate of youth unemployment currently stands at 28.5%, down admittedly from 31% a year ago, but still wholly unacceptable. The European Youth Guarantee offers us with a unique opportunity to change the architecture through which we support young people into employment. It’s vital that we get it right so that the social and economic costs of youth unemployment are never allowed to become so grave again.
Part of getting this architecture right lies in the quality and range of education and training options we offer. For too long, vocational education and apprentice-based training have been viewed as the Cinderella of our education system. Countries with strong vocational education and training (VET) systems - such as Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria - tend to have less youth unemployment. It’s time we drew from this and placed high-quality apprenticeships and work-based learning as part of the acceptable pathway to work.
Pictured at the event European Youth Guarantee in Swords on October 11th
Emer Costello MEP (Centre) with Cllr Peadar O Kelly (centre-left), Labour Party Local Area Representative Duncan Smith (top) and Brendan Ryan TD (centre-right) with students from Loreto Swords.