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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton)

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Snippet Contents:

The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) is the official source of estimates of employment in the State. According to the QNHS figure for Q1 2011, the number of people employed aged 15 to 24 years classified by broad ILO economic status was some 171,800 persons. According to the most recent QNHS data available (Q4 2012), the number of people in employment within this cohort was approximately 154,400. As a result of both natural decrease and net outward migration, the population of persons in younger age groups has fallen and this should be borne in mind when considering the data.
The aim of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to create a supportive environment for enterprise to create and sustain jobs. All of the measures in the Action Plan are designed to promote employment opportunities in different ways and many young people will benefit from the implementation of these measures.
Pathways to Work, the Government’s labour market activation strategy, continues to provide opportunities for young people through further education and employment services. In particular, JobBridge, the national internship programme, is providing valuable work experience for many young people. A recent independent evaluation conducted by Indecon Economic Consultants found that 61% of interns progress to paid employment after completing their internships. The Indecon evaluation clearly demonstrates that JobBridge is delivering for thousands of jobseekers by providing them with valuable opportunities to gain relevant work experience, knowledge and skills in a workplace environment. An increase in the number of places on the scheme, from 6,000 to 8,500, was announced in Budget 2013.
The majority of participants on JobBridge to date have been among 20 to 34 year olds. 20 to 24 year olds accounted for 27% of interns, while 25 to 34 year olds accounted for 45%.
Further measures outlined in Ireland's National Reform Programme update for 2013, submitted by the Government to the European Commission in April 2013, include the following:
- The further implementation of the ICT Action Plan, including the provision of 760 additional places on the ICT graduate conversion programme. These programmes, which are designed and delivered in partnership with industry, are targeted at graduate jobseekers who wish to acquire honours degree level programming skills for employment opportunities in ICT.
- The Labour Market Education & Training Fund, known as Momentum, will provide a range of quality, relevant education and training interventions for up to 6,500 individuals who are long term unemployed, including young people. Four targeted sectoral themes have been set out for the provision of this funding, one of which is aimed at the specific needs of people under 25 who are unemployed, assisting them to access the labour market.
- A review of Irish apprenticeship training has been launched to identify reforms that will re-focus apprenticeship training as an alternative progression route to third-level education for school leavers. The review will identify reforms to ensure that newly qualified apprentices are well placed to secure paid employment after their training ends, with the system becoming more closely aligned with labour market needs.
The Government’s primary strategy to support job creation of benefit to young people is to create the environment for a strong economic recovery by promoting competitiveness and productivity. Economic recovery will underpin jobs growth, most notably for young people. In the light of the recent adoption by the EU Council of Ministers of a Recommendation on an EU-wide Youth Guarantee, the Government will seek to improve its services to unemployed young people with a particular focus on optimising the benefits of the Youth Guarantee for Ireland.