The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, has announced that the Government is to advance plans for a European Youth Guarantee during Ireland’s EU Presidency next year.
The initiative, which will aim to help reduce youth unemployment across Europe, will guarantee that a young person receives a job offer, an apprenticeship, training or combined work and training, within four months of becoming unemployed.
According to comments by Dublin Labour MEP Emer Costello: “A Youth Guarantee is not a magic bullet for our youth unemployment crisis but it is based on best practice in countries such as Austria and Germany which have youth unemployment rates of roughly 8 percent, compared to Ireland’s 30 percent and an EU average of 22 percent. ”
In light of these figures Ms Costello welcomed today’s announcement saying: “I understand that the European Commission is planning to come forward with proposals for a Youth Guarantee in early December. I hope the Government will seek to flesh out and adopt these proposals during Ireland’s Presidency. ”
The announcement by Minister Burton comes on the same day that Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, TD, visited the Bulgarian capital to meet with her ministerial counterpart, Mr Ivan Naydenov.
Minister Creighton made the visit in order to discuss issues pertaining to the upcoming Presidency saying: “It is my intention that by discussing issues in advance and by building relations with our partners we will maximise our opportunity to make progress on important initiatives during the Irish Presidency. ”
According to the Minister, the enlargement agenda, and the recent decision by the Government to lift labour market restrictions for Bulgarians in Ireland were among some of the issues she discussed with Mr Naydenov.
We are likely to see increased mention of the Presidency over the next few months as Ireland prepares to assume the Presidency for a six-month term in January.
The 2013 – 2014 ‘trio’ consists of Ireland, Lithuania and Greece, with Ireland due to take over from current host Cyprus on January 1, 2013.