Speaking following the passing of the South Dublin County Council annual budget 2015, Sinn Féin Councillor for Templeogue-Terenure and Mayor of South Dublin County Fintan Warfield has welcomed the half a million euro in funding to tackle local unemployment.

Mayor Warfield said;

“South Dublin has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country. Almost 30% of under 25’s are out of work. Many more are not in education or training. Every day hundreds of young people emigrate.

“We need to give our young people hope – we need to offer them a real chance to live and make their home here.

“In South Dublin County Council’s Budget 2015, €250,000 has been provided to support a local authority House Painting Programme which in turn will facilitate the employment of apprentice painters.

“An initial provision of €25,000 (to be matched by the hospitality sector and the Education and Training Board) has been provided to support training programmes in the hotel sector, in particular where there is a shortage of appropriately trained staff.

“€50,000 has been provided to support a Sports Development Officer Training Programme in conjunction with the ETB. An equivalent amount of funding will be provided by the ETB which will result in 50 trainees receiving the necessary qualification to work in the sports industry.

“Funding for the Council’s Education Bursary Programme has been increased from €30,000 to €50,000. The criteria for the award of these bursaries will be reviewed by the strategic policy committee and a recommendation will be made to Council early in the New Year.

“The compulsory Gateway Scheme that punishes people for being unemployed and copper-fastens the under-staffing of local services needs to be abolished.

“As Mayor, I have submitted a motion ahead of the November meeting of South Dublin County Council calling on the relevant Ministers to stop the roll-out of Gateway in local authorities immediately.

“Lastly, I welcome the fact that the South Dublin County Jobs Strategy will be reviewed and kept up to date in the first quarter of 2015.”