Speaking in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg this morning Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson called for a Youth Guarantee Scheme of €21 Billion in line with the International Labour Organisation recommendations.

Martina Anderson said:

“I co-authored an amendment calling for an EU Youth Guarantee Scheme of €21 billion in line with the International Labour Organisation’s recommendations. Unfortunately the EU Parliament to its shame rejected it.

“The ambitious goal of offering out of work young people a place in education, training or employment requires significant capacity to ensure offers are suited to each individual’s needs. It must also be available to all young people irrespective of whether they are linked into public employment services or not.

“The present funds allocated are just a fraction of the ILO’s recommendations and will not provide the required capacity.

“For Ireland – North and South – a poorly funded Youth Employment Scheme will fail to tackle the problem of youth unemployment and emigration.  It will mean that youthful energy, skills, new ideas and ambition will continue to be drained out of our Cities, towns and villages the length and breadth of Ireland. A lost generation of our children leaving for foreign shores to become part of the ‘Skype Generation’, scattered around the world. 

“We need to do more – and give our young people reasons to stay, not reasons to leave.”