Ireland’s young people may soon become our biggest export: Kenny & YFG

Fine Gael Party Leader, Enda Kenny TD, and members of Dublin Young Fine Gael (YFG) today (Tuesday) highlighted the need for Government intervention in the worrying trend in emigration.

Enda Kenny TD stated: "There is a real fear that we as a country could lose a generation of our greatest asset – our young people – to emigration. We have already seen a one-third increase in Irish emigrants this year. Neither young people nor their parents want to face the heartbreak of emigration. Fine Gael wants to offer young people a future in their own country. That is why we have outlined a series of measures that will create 50,000 jobs this year and many more in the future.

"Last week's Budget was a particular affront to young people. It said to them 'you are a burden on us'. I want to challenge that in the strongest terms by saying 'we need you to rebuild our country. We want you to have a future in your own country with your families and, in Government, we will bring in a range of stimulus plans that will make that happen.'

Dublin Young Fine Gael Chairman, Alan Gallagher, said: "Irish Emigration is no longer something that young people read about in history books or hear about from their parents and grandparents. It is now becoming a reality for so many young people, not out of choice but out of necessity.

"Young people looked for a sign of hope in last week's Budget; hope for a future in Ireland. Instead, they got a 50% reduction in Jobs Seekers' Allowance for those aged 20 –21 and a 25% reduction for those aged 22-24.

"We are watching young electricians, plumbers, carpenters, brick-layers and many other trades people being forced to leave Ireland in search of a brighter future. We see our newly qualified graduates being left with no option but to go to New Zealand and Canada in search of work.

"Things are so bleak now that the only option for so many new graduates is €100 a week in Job Seekers' Allowance or the chance of a better future away from Ireland.

"Recent CSO figures reveal that more people are leaving the country than entering for the first time since 1995. Although many of those emigrating are EU Nationals the number of Irish people emigrating increased by 37% this year.* Two-thirds of those who emigrated are males.

"A recent national poll of 1,004 adults published by the Irish Times indicates that 40 per-cent of 18 to 24 year olds feel they are likely to emigrate within the next five years.*

"These figures are hardly surprising given that there are 84,000 people under the age of 25 on the dole and one-third of young men are signing on. We are dangerously close to having a significant brain drain.

"The Budget contained no plans to stimulate the economy or create any jobs for young people. Rather than try to help young people, the Government sought to punish those under 25 who are unemployed through no fault of their own. In stark contrast, Fine Gael has outlined a whole series of measures, which will create thousands of jobs for young people."

Fine Gael's proposals include:

'Hope for a Lost Generation' which will bring 30,000 young people off the dole in one year. It will create: 13,000 graduate internship placements, 10,000 second chance education scheme placements, 5,000 extra Community Employment Scheme (CES) places and 10,000 jobs will be retained through a Government supported workshare scheme.

NewERA will provide an €18 billion stimulus to the economy by retooling or selling off some of the existing semi-state companies and by setting up new ones to invest in broadband, green energy and water, creating 100,000 jobs.

A Fresh Start for Jobs and Small Business – a plan to reduce the cost of doing business.

A National Recovery Bank to get credit flowing to business and consumers.

A Jobs Tax Cut, which involves reducing both rates of employers' PRSI, which we estimate, will create or save an additional 30,000 jobs.

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YFG Highlights Youth Emigration
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