Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says the latest plan by the Government to implement its Youth Guarantee lacks any real substance and is remarkably short on details.

Deputy O’Dea commented: “Today we saw yet another launch by the Government on tackling Youth Unemployment. Yet again, it lacks any real detail and does not set down a plan by which the youth unemployment crisis will be solved.

“When I see the words ‘progressive’ and ‘phased’ on a document I shudder. The Government cannot afford to waste any more time in implementing the Youth Guarantee. This must be a priority, Minster Joan Burton has been talking about implementing this for almost 12 months and today we again see a plan full of spin but lacking substance.

“One of the central planks of implementing the Youth Guarantee is having Intreo; which is a new one-stop-shop for the unemployed where they can receive information on retraining and employment services, offices established in towns and cities all over the country. For instance, Cork City has no Intreo office; how can the Government pledge to implement the Youth Guarantee with such a major part of this plan incomplete?

“Also, there are approximately 300 Employment Service Officers (ESOs)/advisors in the Department of Social Protection to cater for 315,000 people on the Live Register. It means there are 1,000 people on the Live Register for every ESO. These ESOs are woefully under resourced, how can the Government promise to tackle youth unemployment with such scarce resources?

“Minister Burton has also admitted it will be unable to provide training or employment for over half of those under 25 on the live register.

“It seems to be that there is no plan. We need to see details on how the 25% Youth Unemployment rate will be tackled. Government inaction in this area has been the focus of criticism from the OECD and the European Commission who claim Ireland now risks the emergence of a lost generation.”