Increase of 4,604 in long-term unemployed in month.
Activation measures must be improved and targeted to skills needs.
At the release of the Live Register figures today (2nd July), ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, drew attention to the high numbers of long-term unemployed who are currently on the Live Register. The Association called on Government to make appropriate activation measures a priority and to ensure that it was promoting reskilling in areas of potential skills shortages.
The latest seasonally adjusted Live Register figures confirm that while employment is rising, 344,900 people are still signing on the dole. Long-term claimants account for 46.7% of the total.
ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, commented on the situation," Of the 166,488 who are long-term unemployed, 90,376 have been on the live register for three years or more. This is worryingly high number and must be addressed. Government must provide activation measures and reskilling opportunities in key areas of need so that potential future skills shortages are avoided. Claimants must be compelled to take up these opportunities and must be able to show that they are committed to rejoining the workforce."
"Unemployment numbers have certainly decreased but the focus must now be on preparing those who are still out of work to rejoin the labour market by helping them to achieve the skills that are in demand."
The Association called on the Government to:
Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work.
Assign a welfare officer to every person who is unemployed long-term and ensure that they are offered a place on an activation scheme which they may not refuse.