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British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) calls for proactive, preventative approach to youth unemployment through Education and Training

Added 17-Nov-2015

British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) calls for proactive, preventative approach to youth unemployment through Education and Training

17th November 2015

The BIPA Committee charged with Economic Affairs has today published its ‘Report on Preventing Youth Unemployment through Education and Training.’

The Report makes a number of recommendations to prevent youth unemployment through education and training, which remains high compared to pre-crisis levels.  The issue continues to be of pressing concern to policymakers across the British Isles; particularly as all too often youth unemployment leads to long term unemployment and bleak futures.

The report was formally adopted by the wider Assembly at this morning’s 51st  Plenary Session taking place in Cheltenham.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

• Greater promotion of dual education routes, including a range of apprenticeships as alternatives to the traditional academic route for young people;

• A consolidated and tailored approach to entrepreneurial education and experiential learning should be a core focus for secondary and higher education curricula;

• Enhanced roles for both Local Authorities and employers respectively through targeted initiatives. Local authorities, in particular, can play very important roles in enhancing collaboration and coordination efforts among State agencies at a local level;

• Career guidance needs to be fit for purpose and develop greater links with education and training bodies and industry;

• Levels of support for disadvantaged and minority youths should be increased but in a focused way. These supports need to be effective and targeted and best practice models should be mainstreamed throughout the islands.

Jack Wall TD, Chair of Committee C (Economic Affairs), says: “It is incumbent on us all as legislators to ensure that our youth are assisted in reaching their full potential. This Report is noteworthy because it makes a number of very practical recommendations as to how we can tackle the issue of youth unemployment. It is focused on preventing youth unemployment through a series of progressive education and training measures that accept the fact that one size does not fit all in an educational context.”

“This Report initially identifies the reasons for and prevalence of youth unemployment as well as examining the damaging effects it can have on young people, and indeed on those close to them. Young unemployed people are more likely to experience deskilling, social exclusion, poor health and lower job satisfaction. In order to facilitate a successful transition from education to employment, the fundamental principle we have identified is that there needs to be a good match between the supply of and demand for specific skills.”

“Our Committee believes that progressive education and training measures are absolutely vital in reducing youth unemployment levels. This emphasis on education and training includes an improvement in the provision of career guidance - specifically, in terms of providing a more holistic education to young people, emphasising alternative and equally positive routes to secure well paid employment, other than academia. Supports must also be provided to ensure that disadvantaged and minority youths do not fall through the cracks and miss out on further and higher education opportunities.”

“Our Committee has spent a substantial amount of time examining the issues around the multi-faceted problem of youth unemployment and how best to address the problem by preventing it in the first place.  We believe that this Report has an important contribution to make in terms of future policy development throughout Ireland and the UK.”

“We will be sending copies of the Report to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, MP for an early response and a request that parliamentary debates be held in both Dáil Éireann and the House of Commons on the Report’s findings. The report will also be circulated to the relevant Ministers in both the UK and Ireland for a detailed policy response.”

Access Report here.

Follow the BIPA twitter channel for updates: @BritishIrishPA

Media enquiries and accreditation requests to:

Dublin: Nuala Walsh (+353) 86 410 0898

London: Jessica Bridges Palmer (+44) 07917 488 489

The Assembly's mission is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland for the benefit of the people they represent. BIPA’s membership includes representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.

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