I propose to take Questions Nos. 9 and 20 together.
Reduced rates for young jobseekers in receipt of jobseeker's allowance were introduced on a phased basis from 2009, in line with other EU and OECD jurisdictions, as an attempt to tackle high youth unemployment and prevent long-term welfare dependency. Receiving the maximum weekly rate without a strong incentive to engage in either education or training can lead to welfare dependency from a young age, and nobody wants that. If young persons participate in incentivised training or any of the education opportunities that are available to them, they can receive the maximum weekly rate of €203. The youth employment support scheme, YESS, which I launched last year, is targeted exclusively at young jobseekers and participants receive €229.20 per week. My Department offers young people a number of work placement and training supports closely aligned to the labour market.
The policies in place for the past number of years have been effective in reducing both youth and long-term youth unemployment. In 2009, youth unemployment had reached its highest rate with almost 28% of young people under the age of 25 unemployed. The Central Statistics Office, CSO, seasonally adjusted youth unemployment rate at the end of August 2019 saw that rate almost halved in the past tens and it is currently 14.7%, but that is still far too high.
The Department is finalising a review, arising from an amendment brought forward during the debate on last year's Social Welfare Bill, on the impacts of the reduced rates on young jobseekers and I will review it shortly. My view is well known in this House. The objective of the Department is to ensure any young person under the age of 25 is as encouraged as much as they can be and supported in every way, shape or form into training, work experience or education.