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Gnáthamharc

Youth Unemployment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (290)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

290. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which she and her Department have continued to monitor youth unemployment levels; the extent to which such levels have increased or otherwise in recent weeks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58185/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

As the Deputy will be aware, this country faced an unprecedented shock to the labour market as a result of the pandemic. Prior to Covid-19, the seasonally adjusted youth unemployment rate for 2019 averaged approximately 12.5 percent. Following the onset of the pandemic, the CSO’s "COVID-19 adjusted" monthly youth unemployment rate, which includes all those in receipt of the PUP, increased dramatically, peaking at almost 70 percent in May 2020.

In recent months, on foot of the loosening of public health restrictions, youth unemployment rates have declined significantly. According to the latest data from the CSO, the "COVID-19 adjusted" youth unemployment rate for October 2021 was 11.1 percent while the standard youth unemployment rate for October 2021 was 9.1 percent. Therefore, a reasonable estimate of the current underlying youth unemployment is between 9 and 11 percent, meaning youth unemployment rates have fallen below 2019 levels.

In recent weeks the rapid decline in the number of young persons in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has continued. As of November 23rd, there are just over 4,300 under 25's in receipt of the PUP, down from 9,870 at the start of October. At present, under 25’s account for approximately 7.5 percent of all current PUP recipients. This compares to over 25 percent in early June.

Additionally, there are there are just under 17,200 under 25's on the Live Register as of the week ending November 21st. Therefore, the total number of under 25's in receipt of Live Register and PUP income supports is around 21,500.

While much progress has been made, I will continue to monitor youth unemployment levels carefully over the coming weeks and months. Under Pathways to Work, the Government's new employment services strategy, launched last July, my Department has put in place a wide range of measures to assist unemployed young people back into employment, education or training. Some of the key measures that will help young people include:

- 4,000 places ring-fenced for young people on the Work Placement Experience Programme.

- 1,000 additional Community Employment and Tús places set aside for young people.

- Providing 50,000 further education and training places.

- 8,000 additional places on the JobsPlus recruitment subsidy- with the subsidy being available, on an earlier basis than normal, to employers when they recruit young people.

- Targeting 10,000 apprentice registrations per year by 2025.

- Extending the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme, which provides financial supports for employers who register apprentices to a national apprenticeship, to end 2021.

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