New Youth Guarantee Initiatives

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The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today (11th November 2014) announced a range of initiatives to deliver on commitments in the Youth Guarantee (YG) and made a call to the heads of some of the top companies in Ireland to work with the government to tackle the problem of youth unemployment.

The Tánaiste made the announcement this morning in her address to the Annual CEO Breakfast Forum, at the invitation of Tina Roche from Business in the Community (BITC), who hosted the event at Dublin Castle where CEOs gathered to discuss Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The aim of the EU-wide Guarantee is to provide young people under the age of 25 with a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a short time of becoming unemployed.

The Tánaiste will soon issue a call seeking expressions of interest from organisations right across the private, public, voluntary and community sectors wishing to participate in a new Youth Development Internship initiative to deliver developmental internships to 1,500 disadvantaged young people between the ages of 18-24.

Today the Tánaiste announced that the Jobs Plus scheme has been revised to reduce the qualifying period for those aged under 25 from 12 months to 4 months in respect of young people who at risk of becoming long term unemployed. Young people will be provided with certification that they qualify for the subsidy and will be in a position to use this certification in job applications with employers.

Also announced today is the Experience Your Europe (EYE) programme with places for 250 participants. This programme prepares and supports young people in securing training or employment in Europe for at least 12 months so that they return with the necessary language skills and experience to avail of employment opportunities in Ireland. Irish employers will be asked to sponsor this programme by providing employment for the participants on their return.

Some of the initiatives planned under the YG required primary legislation to allow positive discrimination on age grounds in the provision of employment services and supports. This legislation is now place to allow for the earlier and more intensive engagement of young people in Intreo.

The initiatives announced today offer our young jobseekers further support to find work and illustrates to employers the many ways they can work with the government to help our young people find work, a commitment that they can express publically and concretely by also signing the recently launched Employment and Youth Activation Charter.

Significant progress has already been made since the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan was published in January. Approximately 16,400 of the 28,000 plus places had been taken up at the end of October. Take-up is expected to rise substantially by year-end as student intake on programmes such as the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme (VTOS) is concentrated in September/October in line with the academic calendar. In addition, the intake of young people to the 2014 iteration of the Momentum programme for long-term unemployed jobseekers has just begun.


Note for Editors

Youth Guarantee

Ireland’s Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan was launched in January 2014. The objective of the Youth Guarantee is to ensure that young people receive a quality offer of employment, training, work experience or further education within four months of becoming unemployed.

This is a very ambitious target and accordingly, in agreeing the Recommendation, the European Council noted that the guarantee should be implemented on a phased basis in those countries, such as Ireland, facing very significant fiscal constraints.

In Ireland’s case we intend to fulfil the Youth Guarantee by enhancing the Intreo engagement with newly unemployed young people, by extending the range of interventions available to young people, and by maintaining and developing the current range of education, training and employment interventions for young people. The impact of the new and existing interventions will also, if current trends continue, be supported by the recovery in the economy and by extension, employment levels.

In agreeing the recommendation on the Youth Guarantee the European Council accepted that the guarantee of an offer of training, education or work experience for those aged 18-24 years after a four month period, should be implemented on a phased basis in those countries, such as Ireland, facing very significant fiscal constraints.

Youth Developmental Internship (YDI)

A new developmental internship has been introduced to offer support to the most disadvantaged unemployed young people ages 18-24 that are further from the labour market. These include people with low levels of education, and who may have experienced long periods of unemployment or faced additional barriers to employment.

The YDI provides for an initial 1,500 placements of 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public, voluntary and community sectors. Participants on the YDI receive, through the Department of Social Protection, a single allowance (Internship Allowance) consisting of €50 per week in addition to their equivalent existing social welfare entitlements.

A developmental internship provides a more supported structure in which a young person, with little or no experience of working, and who may have other barriers to gaining and maintaining employment, is given the opportunity to learn basic work skills and social skills while on placement in a real work situation. During the placement, the intern is supported by a DSP case officer and work mentor, and where appropriate other support professionals, who, during the course of the internship, will help the intern to identify their specific training and support needs, and make provision for these needs to be met. The host company also commits to providing the intern with the training required during the course of the internship.

Participants on the YDI are also given priority access to supports, schemes and training courses for which they are eligible, during, and on completion of their internship.

Employers are being asked to register their interest in offering a YDI placement by emailing Supporting schemes like this is an example of how employers can fulfill the commitments they made in the recently launched Employment and Youth Activation Charter.

YDI internships will not be advertised publically. Placements will be reserved for those who meet the eligibility criteria, and who would most benefit from the support, and participants will be selected for the scheme by their local INTREO case officer.

JobsPlus for Youth

JobsPlus is an employer incentive which encourages employers to offer employment to jobseekers on the Live Register who have been out of work by giving employers cash incentives.

Under the Youth Guarantee the qualifying period for jobseekers to avail of JobsPlus for those aged under 25 has been reduced from 12 months to 4 months. Young people who are eligible are given written certification that they qualify for the subsidy and can use this certification when making job applications.

JobsPlus provides two levels of payment: a payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months; and €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. The incentive is payable monthly in arrears over a two-year period.

It is envisaged that this initiative will, in a full year, support an additional 1,500 jobs for under 25s with high barriers to employment.

Experience Your Europe (EYE)

As part of the Youth Guarantee, European Employment Services - EURES Ireland - has been tasked to provide apprenticeship/work opportunities for the 18-24 age group, who are three months or longer on the live register. One of the specific actions Ireland outlined to implement this recommendation is to introduce a programme for 18-24 year olds. The EURES - Experience Your Europe (EYE) Programme offers the following options:

  • Option 1: 12 month sponsored Internship in another European country.To gain experience and develop language skills so that a person can apply for job opportunities in Ireland on their return.
  • Option 2: Assisting jobseekers who wish to work in Europe
  • Option 3: Apprenticeship Programme in Germany

Supports include - Intensive language training in Ireland, Induction Day - CV preparation/Interview Skills, Training allowance/Settling in allowance and Travel Expenses.

Temporary Employment Programmes


The Youth Guarantee made provision for an increase in places for longer-term unemployed youth by reserving 1,000 Tús placements for this 18-24 year olds in 2014.


A new programme has been developed, similar to Tús but concentrated on employment, by local government authorities, of persons who had previously been more than two years unemployed. It is anticipated that about 450 very long-term unemployed young people will benefit from the programme in 2014.

Funding for Young People to Start their Own Business

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is designed to provide a monetary incentive for people who are long-term dependent on social welfare payments to make engagement in self-employment financially attractive and viable, while allowing them to retain a reducing proportion of their qualifying social welfare payment over two years (100% in year 1 and 75% in year 2). The enterprise officers of Local Development Companies and INTREO Case Officers work closely with applicants in developing business plans and projections, and providing continuing support to individual start-ups. To date 140 young people have already entered the scheme out of an expected total of 200 in 2014.

Employment and Youth Activation Charter

In September 2014 the Tánaiste launched the Employment and Youth Activation Charter.

Employers who sign this Charter commit that at least 50% of candidates considered for interview will be taken from the Live Register. They will also implement a selection of measures which seek to prime those who are out of work to take up jobs.

The Charter was proposed by the Labour Market Council, the body of industry and policy experts which was established by the Tánaiste in 2013 to help drive implementation of the Government's Pathways to Work strategy to tackle unemployment.

The Tánaiste launched the Charter with the Minister of State for Employment, Community and Social Support Kevin Humphreys; Mr Martin Murphy, Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Ireland and Chair of the Labour Market Council, and Mr Tony Keohane, Chairman of Tesco Ireland and Chair of the Employment Engagement Committee of the Labour Market Council which oversaw the development of the Charter.

To Department is activity pursuing more signatory companies and is also working with those who have signed up to help them deliver on their commitments.

Last modified:11/11/2014