Sinn Fein plan to boost youth jobs
The Government has been urged to set aside 500 million euro for a special fund to help young people on the dole to kick-start their own businesses.
The scheme was among a raft of proposals put forward by Sinn Fein, which the party said would help create 50,000 jobs for those under 25.
Arthur Morgan, finance spokesman, believes the state must encourage entrepreneurship among young people. He said: "More and more young people are leaving Ireland. If this continues, the ability of the economy to recover will be undermined as we will have exported all our young skilled workers."
Sinn Fein said one in four young people were unemployed, with one in three men out of work. The party added that 1.3% of workers aged between 15 and 24 are self employed, claiming most have neither the confidence nor the practical support to set up their own business.
Another proposal is to launch a national entrepreneurship programme with centres around the country, costing the taxpayer 25 million euro.
Also proposed was the establishment of dedicated business and science parks in each county, linked to universities and third-level colleges, offering an on-site enterprise agency and banking support.
Sinn Fein also suggested creating a state bank that would have business credit as one of its remits.
Mr Morgan said young people must feel that setting up their own business was a real option.
Sinn Fein Tallaght councillor Sean Crowe said there were 2,753 people under 25 unemployed in the South Dublin constituency.
"Enabling young unemployed to start up new businesses would be a huge boost to the local economy in Tallaght and other unemployment blackspots throughout the state," he said.