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More apprenticeships needed to meet youth jobs needs

Posted on August 8, 2019 by webmaster

DESPITE the tight labour market, 6,000 under-25s remain long-term unemployed according to the National Youth Council which is calling for more apprentiship places, especially for younger women. Apprenticeship courses have been expanded in recent years to include careers in auctioneering, insurance and accounting in addition to more traditional trades.

At present, there are 16,000 young people on apprenticeship programmes. We need increased investment in Budget 2020 to support more young jobseekers into an apprenticeship and a range of other employment and training measures to reduce long-term youth unemployment. That was the message from James Doorley, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) deputy director at the launch of its pre-Budget submission.

The NYCI, which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide, is calling for an overall investment of €14.9million in education, training and apprenticeships to halve long-term youth unemployment by the end of 2020. Only 2% – about 350 – of the 16,000 young people in apprenticeship schemes are women.

Mr Doorley said: “Census 2016 indicates that our population aged 10-24 years will increase to over one million by 2025, so we need to invest in policies, services and supports to meet the needs of young people today, while preparing for demographic pressures in the coming years.”

90% of smaller Irish firms call Britain’s ‘Brexit bluff’

Posted on August 5, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

ONLY one-in-10 businesses in Ireland are preparing for a no-deal Brexit despite the fact that many of them see it as serious threat, the cross-border body, IntertradeIreland, warned

IntertradeIreland’s all-island business monitor for the three months to the end of June shows that 40% of companies reported growth for the period but few expect further expansion over the coming 2019-20 year.

The all-Ireland trade body finds that 45% of businesses blame the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU at the end of October for this uncertainty, which rises to almost 60% among manufacturers.

However, only 11% of companies that contributed to the Business Monitor survey said that they have made any preparations for the UK crashing out of the trade bloc without a deal, scheduled for October 31st

More than four-fifths of cross-border traders, who would be most exposed should the UK leave with no deal, have not prepared for that outcome, Intertrade Ireland says.

Food shortages feared with ‘no-deal’ Brexit

Posted on August 3, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

INTERNAL British civil service research has highlighted fears of food shortages, hoarding and rising prices as well as major travel disruptions when Britain leaves the EU at the end of October without a negotiated departure agreement.

Internal papers from the Department of Education, disclosed by the London Observer newspaper (August 2019) details the dangers of food shortages to schools, but addds that informing the public of the risks could make matters even worse.

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a section entitled School Food, it talks of the:

“risk that communications in this area could spark undue alarm or panic food buying among the general public”

And it adds: “Warehousing and stockpiling capacity will be more limited in the pre-Xmas period. The department has limited levers to address these risks. We are heavily dependent on the actions of major suppliers and other government departments to ensure continued provision.”

Listing the actions the department would take in the event of food shortages affecting schools, the document says: “In light of any food shortages or price increases we will communicate how schools can interpret the food menu standards flexibly. DfE may make exceptional payments – or submit a prepared bid to HM Treasury for additional funding. Worst case scenario estimate of the increased costs – £40m [€43.5m] to £85m [€92.5m] a year for schools in relation to free school meals based on price increases of 10-20%.”