Saturday, 13 July 2024

Youth unemployment

NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY National Secretary Mr. David Durant also serves on the National Executive of Solidarity Trade Union. Solidarity describes itself as a free, autonomous Nationalist trade union.

Since the middle of December last year, Mr. Durant has been speaking out against the “scandalous” youth unemployment figures.

In fact, youth unemployment is spiraling out of control. November 2009 saw a record number of young people without a job. Nearly one in five 16 to 24-year-olds are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. It represents the highest rate of youth unemployment since records began in 1971.

These youngsters join a total of around two-and-a-half million unemployed. And things don’t look any brighter for the foreseeable future. Factory closures – throwing hundreds of workers onto the dole – still seem to be the order of the day.

Mr. Durant has put forward several ideas to tackle youth unemployment – including meaningful training schemes, apprenticeships and jobs. In an article of 11/12/2009 entitled Youth unemployment soars, he called for a dual approach – a massive jobs creation programme and an in-depth look at the economy.

“I’m calling for a massive jobs creation programme. Virtually every day we hear that our public services are at breaking point. So why not train up more doctors, nurses and other health care workers? Why not train more lecturers and teachers?

We also need an emergency programme of national works. This would include re-building our transport infrastructure, cleaning up our towns and cities, making all dwellings fit and habitable and tending to the land”.

As part of a longer-term strategy he also said:

“We must have an in-depth look at the economy. Why do we have this crazy system of boom and bust? We must have a stable economic system”.

In January, he returned to the theme of youth unemployment and called for a possible lowering of the age of retirement. Mr. Durant’s comments came in response to the news that the Institute of Directors – IoD – wanted the state pension age to rise to 70.

He said that Solidarity Trade Union was opposed to any attempt to raise the state pension age. Indeed, he noted:

“Instead of forcing people to work on, maybe we should be looking at bringing the retirement age down even further. How many jobs would this free up for our youngsters?”

“We need to replace this crazy situation where we have millions of youngsters on the scrapheap – while others are being told that they need to work until they drop! Why not let workers retire earlier – and pay them an adequate pension – so that we can combat this chronic youth unemployment?”

The following should be read alongside this article:

Pension age to be raised?

Youth unemployment soars.

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