€47m youth work spend demanded in Budget 2018

A €47.4m investment in youth work is required in Budget 2018 to "halve long-term unemployment by the end of 2018", according to the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).

More than 11,000 young people are in long-term unemployment.

In a submission to the Department of Children and Youth affairs, the NYCI said investment in youth employment was 26pc below 2008 levels.

"Much more needs to be done" in education and training, said James Doorley, its deputy director. "Further investment is required to undo the damage of austerity and to meet the needs of a growing youth population."

Mr Doorley told the Irish Independent a "high-quality work experience scheme that could provide more places" was needed.

He explained: "The nature of employment is changing. There is a lot more precarious employment around this age group and people who are caught between jobs."

The report said the number of young people in long-term unemployment was "worrying in light of the commitments in the 2013 EU Youth Guarantee."

That committed to provide any young person an education, training and/or work-experience place if they were unemployed for four months or more.

However, the NYCI said an Irish Youth Guarantee programme, set up in 2014, excluded the 30pc of young people who were "not in education, employment and training".

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