Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Niall Collins TD has raised concerns regarding the number of 3rd level graduates who are choosing to leave Ireland.

Deputy Collins made the comments following the publication of the latest emigration figures by the Central Statistics Office. The figures show that in the 12 months to April 2016 it is estimated that 32,000 third level graduates chose to leave Ireland.

“These figures show that nearly half of all persons aged 15 or over who emigrated from Ireland in 2015 had a third level qualification or higher. It is estimated that 181,100 third level graduates have left Ireland since Fine Gael came to office in 2011,” said Deputy Collins.

“It’s clear that the action plan for jobs is failing to retain skilled Irish graduates. It is unacceptable that the number of highly qualified graduates leaving the country continues unabated. There is clearly a significant void in supports and opportunities for graduates which must be addressed.

“Furthermore it is concerning that there has been a 15% increase in the number of part-time workers who would like to have full-time work, representing 111,400 underemployed persons in total. The previous Fine Gael led Government was fixated on creating a deeply unfair two tier recovery. This two-tier approach continues to have a negative impact on the regions.

“There is still a significant disparity in the nature of the recovery across the country. The capital has an unemployment rate of 8%, but the midlands is suffering from a 10.7% rate of unemployment. If there is to be any real lasting recovery then is must extent to all regions and communities in a fair and balanced way.”