Sinn Féin Councillor representing Templeogue-Terenure Fintan Warfield has commented on the latest youth unemployment figures released from the CSO, which confirm a youth unemployment rate of 20.1%.

The statistics, taking into account those aged between 15 and 24, have fallen by just two percentage points when compared to the beginning of last year.

Cllr. Fintan Warfield said:

“Regardless of circumstance, young people have consistently paid, and continue to pay the price of Government austerity policies.

“165,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 have left Ireland since the 2011 General Election, while one in six young people born in this state now live abroad.

“The potential of a reformed Dáil, now presents opportunities for a new energy and a strength of vision that can meaningfully deliver for our young people”.

Cllr. Warfield continued:

“Sinn Féin’s focus for young people remains on the restoration of Jobseekers’ Allowance, a €500 reduction in third level fees, and the protection of vulnerable young people in the workforce.

“That means amending industrial relations legislation to provide for mandatory trade union recognition and collective bargaining rights, ensuring that activation schemes are of high quality and support job creation, shutting down JobBridge and Gateway, and making greater use of JobsPlus and Community Employment Schemes.

“We will continue to call for an increase in the minimum wage to €9.65 and support the introduction of a Living Wage at €11.45 an hour. As a first step towards its introduction, the public sector should be made a Living Wage employer.

“Significant investment in capital projects to fulfil the infrastructural needs of the state – in water, housing, schools, health, broadband and transport, and the creation of jobs in our frontline services will also act as a stimulus for job creation in the private sector and above all else, bring our young people home”.