25 November 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Deirdre Clune MEP this morning (Friday 25th November) hosted an information event in Cork’s Rochestown Park Hotel on opportunities for young people that are available through various European programmes, such as Erasmus+, the EU’s Youth guarantee and other programmes supported by the European Social Fund.
Speaking ahead of the information morning, MEP Clune said: “The EU Budget for 2017 allocates budget resources to various youth supports and it is important that young people and those that work with young people are aware of what is available.” She added: “We have an expert panel that will present details of the various programmes, what they are, how to benefit and how to apply. The panel will also be on hand to take questions.”
The European Youth Guarantee is commitment by all Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education and an apprenticeship or a traineeship. The impact of the Youth Guarantee across Europe has been significant since its adoption in 2013 and the young people’s labour market performance has improved significantly:
· almost 1.5 million fewer young people unemployed in the EU and 900,000 less young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs)
· Youth unemployment has dropped from a peak of 24.4% in the first quarter of 2013 to 18.9% in the second quarter of 2016
· The percentage of 15-24 year olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs) has fallen from 13.2% in 2012 to 12.0% in 2015
In Ireland, initiatives falling under the Youth Guarantee have had a similar influence on the target audience:
· From a peak of almost 30%, youth unemployment (15-24 year olds) has fallen to 17.7% (CSO Quarterly National Household Survey November 2016)
· The number of early leavers from education and training has fallen to 7% from almost 12%
· The percentage of 15-24 year olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs) has fallen from over 19% in 2012 to 14.2% in 2015
While the improvements in youth unemployment arising from the Youth Guarantee are very welcome, the persistently high level of youth unemployment compared to the overall unemployment figure of 8% (Q3 2016, CSO) indicates that there is still considerable ground to be made up in this area.