Thursday, 6th February 2014

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, has strongly welcomed today’s (Thursday) announcement by the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, that, following a special cabinet meeting on jobs, new schemes are being introduced to support our young unemployed. These include a new Entrepreneurship Fund for start-ups by people aged 25 and a Graduate Recruitment Programme.

“Today’s announcements by Minister Bruton are exactly what young people in this country need. A year ago, I met with the Celbridge Youth Council who first proposed the concept of a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund to me. They made a compelling argument with regard to supporting young people who have entrepreneurial intentions by establishing a targeted fund to make their dreams a reality.

“As a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, I raised this issue on a number of occasions and presented Minister Bruton with a copy of Celbridge Youth Council’s proposal. I am therefore thrilled to learn today that a specific fund to target entrepreneurs under the age of 25 is to be established, which will ensure that our youngest and brightest can excel.

“I am also delighted to learn that a Graduate Recruitment Programme is to be established. Since being elected I have had a number of discussions with students, particularly those from NUI Maynooth and their Student Union, with regard to the problems encountered by young graduates when entering the workforce and the scourge of emigration among this cohort of young people. This Graduate Recruitment Programme will begin to address this problem and will hopefully see less graduates being forced to distant shores.

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised that 2014 will be the ‘year for jobs’. The new initiatives announced today, along with the 19th consecutive monthly fall in unemployment figures which was announced yesterday, show that we are making real progress in job creation.”