Report into social situation of young people in EU outlines challenges and opportunities ahead – Donohoe

25th March, 2014

Getting our young people off the dole and back to work is key to a more positive outlook for the future

Speaking following the launch this morning (Tuesday) of Eurofound’s Third European Quality of Life Survey Report, ‘The Social Situation of Young People in Europe’, Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, said the key to ensuring a better future for our young people is to provide the best means of upskilling, retraining and employment opportunities for them.


“The breadth of data contained in this report, and its accessibility in comparing Ireland to other countries in the European Union, provides us with a valuable contribution in charting the road ahead.


“Our young people have paid an extraordinary price in terms of our recent economic meltdown. Many of them were leaving college or still in their first job as the Celtic Tiger drew its last breath. They were left with limited options for the future as jobs dried up and the economy experienced the worst contraction in more than a generation.


“This report outlines the rise in the portion of young people (aged 18-29) across the European Union who are now living with their parents (up from 44% in 2007 to 49% in 2011) and the impact this is having on them. While this figure has been reduced in Ireland, the number of young people here who remain reliant on their parents or who are struggling to carve out an independent existence remains too high.


“With this in mind, the Government is continuing to develop the most effective ways of reducing youth unemployment and addressing the needs of our young people. We are doing this through schemes such as JobBridge, Tús and measures such as Jobs Plus in the Action Plan for Jobs. On a European level, a total of €6 billion in funding has been earmarked from the EU budget for youth employment initiatives between 2014-2020. This includes initiatives such as the Youth Guarantee which will ensure that all young people under the age of 25 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.


“While it was encouraging to note that Ireland registered among the countries with the highest level of social participation, and that optimism among our young people also remains high, unemployment and social deprivation have a significant impact on our young people in terms of their social and psychological development. I commend Eurofound for this report which clearly identifies the challenges and opportunities up ahead as we seek to undo the damage done in recent years and build a better future for all of our people.”


Report can be found here