Education, training and work experience the solution to youth unemployment – SOLAS.

  • New report finds youth unemployment levels similar to
    pre-recession era.

Education, training, and work experience are the solution to youth unemployment. That’s according to SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, who today (19.12.2019) has launched a report by their Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) into unemployment in Ireland.

At a time when we are close to full employment, the report explores which groups are not part of the labour market.

The report compares unemployment levels in the latter half of 2007 to current unemployment levels, with a particular focus on the under 25-year-olds. According to the report, after a period of high unemployment, Ireland has seen a return to pre-recession levels.

Key findings include:

  • The unemployment rate in Ireland has almost reached pre-recession levels, with 131,000 unemployed people in Ireland now compared to the 120,000 in the latter months of 2007;
  • The youth unemployment rate (under 25 years) was higher than the overall rate across the 12-year period, and is still at a higher rate in 2019 than it was in 2007;
  • Unemployment rates for all persons mostly declined with greater educational attainment – at the moment the unemployment rate for all persons with higher secondary level education or below was more than double the unemployment rate for persons with third-level degree education.
  • A third of all those unemployed aged 25 and under have attained only lower secondary education.

Commenting on the report findings, Joan McNaboe, Manager of the SLMRU, said: “While it’s a positive sign that Ireland’s unemployment levels have almost returned to pre-recession levels, there is little improvement in the rate of young people who are unemployed. There are as many young people unemployed now as there were 12 years ago.

“Early school leavers and young people who have had little to no previous work-experience make up the majority of young people who are unemployed. Another key point is that males make up 60 per cent of young people unemployed.

“The findings in the report serve to highlight the important role that further education and training has to play in helping young people out of unemployment.

“Through the likes of the Youthreach programme, which helps early school leavers, and further education programmes, young people are given confidence in their abilities and skills which will help them to enter the workforce, when they’re ready to do so.”

Speaking at the launch of the report was Paddy Collins, a 22-year-old from Drimnagh, Dublin, who left school early: “I left school after my Junior Cert, eager to start earning. I didn’t realise at the time just how few job opportunities there were without further education, and I struggled to find a job. I became involved in Youthreach and then the Solas project’s woodwork workshop. I’m now a woodwork tutor with the Solas project, and in the future I’m hoping to qualify as woodwork instructor or as a youth worker. I realise now that education is the path to long-term employment.”

The full report can be downloaded here:


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