A busy month for the Government with the launch of the Jobs Action plan and the Pathways initiative. While these are both great steps in the right direction as always it will be about the implementation of the initiatives and the pace of change that will make the difference. According to the latest CSO results, the unemployment level remained static with the standardised unemployment rate 14.2%, unchanged from January 2012. It is clear that any jobs recovery will take time but we must remain positive that the range of initiatives from the Government, the recent good news on the jobs front that things will improve.
The last month has seen some very positive jobs announcements most notably that of Paypal in Dundalk which has been a great boost for the area. Other companies such as Sky, Subway and Mastercard have also announced significant recruitment drives.
We have also seen strong initiatives by companies such as Microsoft who have announced that they are hosting a skills event called Career Reboot. This programme will showcase ICT career opportunities to graduates and unemployed people considering upskilling in the newly launched computing conversion courses. The event will raise awareness of opportunities which exist for those with varying skillsets and will help people to retrain for a career in technology.
Internally we are gearing up for the National Jobseekers Roadshow which we will again run across the country. It will give jobseekers of all backgrounds the skills and advice needed to find their next job. It really is important to focus on the long term unemployed especially those who are under 30. Recent data found that youth unemployment continues to impact negatively on an individual up to two decades later in a number of ways including health, wages and job satisfaction. So we need to do all we can with for this current generation as they will be our future leaders.
As March approaches and the days get longer let’s hope the better weather helps with the positivity and creativity of the Irish to get us back to where we want to be.