Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Youth Unemployment.

25.

asked the Minister for Labour if his attention has been drawn to the statement from the National Youth Council calling for steps to be taken to alleviate the serious problem of youth unemployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

26.

asked the Minister for Labour if, in view of the number of young people on the unemployment register, his Department will make a contribution so that these people can make themselves useful to the community in the social services or in organisations active in the environmental field.

58.

asked the Minister for Labour the plans he has to assist those students who have completed their formal education and who have failed to obtain employment.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I will take Questions Nos. 25, 26 and 58 together.

On the 16th October, 1975, I announced a number of measures designed to help deal with youth employment and training.

Among the measures are the following:—

1. I have accepted the proposals made by AnCO for a new apprenticeship system.

2. I have also arranged for AnCO to increase greatly the number of training places for apprentices and trainees in its training centres. The number of training places for apprentices and technicians in the regional technical colleges has also been expanded and spare training capacity in firms is being taken up by AnCO to train more young people.

3. A pilot scheme entitled The Community Youth Training Programme has also been announced. Briefly, the scheme involves a short period of AnCO training followed by involvement in suitable community projects such as the renovation of old peoples' homes and so on. The first projects are expected to involve the training of 100 young persons in the eastern region before Christmas.

If the scheme proves successful it will be extended to other areas where suitable projects have been identified.

4. The special industrial training programme utilising the extra £1 million, made available in the January budget supplemented by ESF assistance, will have catered for 2,000 additional persons by the end of the year bringing the total trained in 1975 to over 7,000.

Further steps to help mitigate the problem are being taken with the help of the European Social Fund and I will be outlining these steps in my reply to another question by Deputy Lemass.

On Question No. 25, I find the Minister's reply rather vague, too generalised and far too complacent and, with your permission, I should like to raise the matter on the Adjournment with the Minister for Labour present to answer.

I will communicate with the Deputy in relation to the matter.