Speaking to European Commissioner Lászlo Andor at a meeting today in Dublin Castle on Youth Unemployment – An EU Challenge - Deputy John Lyons has stressed the urgent need for a decision on the Ballymun pilot Youth Guarantee scheme.
“Last October, an application for European Commission funding was submitted for Ballymun to be a year-long pilot Youth Guarantee scheme. Should the application be approved, it would guarantee any young person in Ballymun under 25 who now finds themselves out of work or education for 4 months, a training or education placement.
“It would also act as a test case for the future roll out of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland on foot of the recent European agreement on a €6 billion package to tackle youth unemployment.
“Unfortunately, we are six months on and no decision has yet been made on funding this pilot scheme. I raised this point with Commissioner Lászlo Andor at today’s European Union Presidency meeting of Chairpersons of EU Employment, Enterprise, Innovation and Social Affairs Committees. Mr Andor replied that this application is still under consideration but he stressed the importance of the Youth Guarantee model to address youth unemployment across Europe.
“I am very keen to see a decision made on the pilot schemes as every day that is lost to unemployment is an opportunity missed and potential left unfulfilled. Apart from this waste of potential, unemployment at a young age has negative effects in terms of lost earnings –the ‘wage scar’, personal health, and loss of skills, amongst others. There is also an economic cost to Europe of more than €150bn a year, or 1.2 per cent of EU GDP.
“As a resident of Ballymun and champion of the Youth Guarantee, I am calling for the European Commission to urgently announce which pilot schemes will be funded – to help us tackle youth unemployment and create opportunities for our young people.”