Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Dara Calleary, says the latest progress report by the Government on their Action Plan for Jobs confirms it is simply not working.
Deputy Calleary commented: “The Government has put the usual spin on their plan claiming they have met 249 out of the 270 measures contained in it. However, the main aim of the plan was to create more jobs and unfortunately this is not happening.
“The steady increase in the long-term unemployment rate is a serious cause for concern. An increase of 3.3% in a year means there are 189,857 people throughout the country stuck in long-term unemployment. The live register figures have remained virtually the same, while any slight increase in the unemployment rate is offset by the thousands that are forced to go abroad for work.
“Minister Bruton has talked about a whole of Government approach to the jobs crisis, despite this, there were cuts to VEC’s and PLC colleges along with cuts to training allowances and the Back to Education Allowance announced at Budget 2013.
“These cuts will result in a significant reduction in student places on PLC’s. This has the potential to cost 500 jobs nationwide and significantly cuts off the pathway for thousands of people who want to go back to training and employment.
“While the Government talks about positively tackling the jobless figures, practical solutions like maintaining the funding for these courses are being ignored.
“The time for spin is over, we need solutions not bluster and broken promises. The Government needs to concentrate on re-skilling unemployed workers and to introduce more job activation measures as a matter of urgency.”