North – Youth Unemployment Soars to 20%


By Padraig McGeown, Lurgan Socialist Youth

Recent figures released show us what we have all been anticipating. Youth unemployment has risen yet again. 20% of young people in Northern Ireland are now officially unemployed and this figure is likely to continue to rise. In reality though, the amount of young people out of work is much higher, as the official figures do not include the amount of the youth workforce deemed “economically inactive”.

Employment and Learning Minister Reg Empey recently described young people out of work as “vampires”, but who are the real vampires? The young people forced to queue up at the dole office, or the greedy and corrupt bankers and politicians who put them there? The Assembly continues to look the other way as more and more young people lose there jobs, and they do nothing to provide more work for them. The Assembly promised to create 6,500 jobs, but we have seen little or no action to fulfill this promise. Even if these jobs are created, tens of thousands of young people will still be out of work.

It is an absolute disgrace that even well educated youngsters cannot find a decent job. Even those who do well, go to university, study hard and get a degree still find it very difficult to find suitable work. And they have a five figure debt hanging over them to boot! It’s about time that the Assembly woke up to the problems of the young, and the population in Northern Ireland in general. There are many ways in which the Assembly could easily provide work for the unemployed, and it’s about time they did!

One of the simplest things the Assembly could do, and do in no time at all, is to build more social housing. With the building trade at an all time low, the Assembly could easily breath new life into housing by starting a massive campaign to restore Northern Ireland’s delapidated housing and to construct new ones. Projects to help maintain roads and train the young in new skills would also easily provide employment.

Why should we fork out billions to prop up greedy banks, when little money goes towards helping young people find jobs? It’s about time that the goverment sorted out it priorities and started to really tackle the rate of unemployment. After all it is us who pay the bulk of the taxes – us who buy the products and stimulate the economy – and it is us who paid billions so a few gambling addicts could keep gambling. We need a campaign to force them to act. Sign up fo the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign at and tell Peter Robinson, Martin McGuiness and Reg Empey, we demand a decent job!


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