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Action Plans for Jobs 2017 must focus on youth unemployment

 

Commenting on the release of the CSO Monthly Unemployment figures for December 2016, Laurent Borla, Waterford Chamber President said, “The ongoing reduction in the unemployment rate is positive news, coming as it does at a time of uncertainty for the Irish economy.

 

“However, the most encouraging aspect of the December figures is the drop in the rate of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment fell by 0.9% to 14.5% in December and while remaining high, the trend over the past six months is moving in the right direction. High youth unemployment remains as a legacy of the recession and needs to be addressed. Increasing opportunities for young people starting out in the workplace is important not only for economic reasons but is essential for the future social cohesion of Ireland.

 

“Government must remain focused on job creation and tackling youth unemployment in 2017. There are two clear ways this can be achieved. The first is by making youth unemployment a specific focus of the Action Plan for Jobs 2017. The Action Plan for Jobs programme has made a significant contribution to job creation over recent years, and by focusing on youth unemployment in 2017 we believe further progress will be made on this front.

 

“Secondly, the Action Plan for Education must be delivered as soon as possible. This Plan provides for an expansion of apprenticeship programmes, traineeships and workplace focused education and training, all of which will prepare young people for a modern labour market. These two measures will help Ireland meaningfully deal with what has proven a stubborn problem.”

 
Strong economic performance but pay demands must be realistic

 

Commenting on the release today (5th January 2017) of the 2016 End of Year Exchequer Returns, Nick Donnelly, Waterford Chamber CEO said, “Today’s Exchequer figures provide a timely reminder that in spite of a strong economic recovery, Ireland is still dependent on external borrowing to fund the running of the country.

 

"The Irish economy performed well in 2016, with strong results recorded in all major tax headings and consistent reductions in unemployment levels. Despite this strong economic performance and the reduced costs of servicing the national debt, Ireland recorded a General Government Deficit of over one billion euro in 2016. 

 

"The reality is that Ireland will continue to face challenges in funding public expenditure in the coming years. This is the context that must be considered when significant public sector pay increases are being promoted. Public Sector pay demands must be realistic when faced with domestic realities as well as unprecedented international uncertainties.” 

 
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