Government urged to put efforts into jobs, not banks

THE Government was urged yesterday to put as much effort into tackling unemployment as the banking crisis as a minister pledged the number of unemployed would fall by around 30,000 in the coming months.

A conference aimed at helping the unemployed improve their skills heard yesterday that the numbers without work seeking help had not been seen since the 1980s.

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) made the stark warning as it called on the Government to improve its support for job creation.

INOU chairwoman Ann Fergus said: “You’d be saying [to the Government] put the same impetus and same encouragement into what they’ve done to support the banks, to put the money in, the thought process and to put the work in, to see what could be done to get people off the live register and back into education, training or work.”

The conference heard during discussions with unemployed people that there was still an element of “who you know and not what you know” in the jobs market.

Social Protection Minister Eamon O Cuiv made a prediction that the number of people out of work could be reduced in the coming months.

The minister said increases in the Live Register over the summer, which showed 466,923 people including part-time workers signing on, would decrease in the next two months.

Mr O Cuiv said the jobless figures would reduce to levels seen in May, where there were 437,922 people on the Live Register.

The minister stressed that job numbers would only rise once the country’sfinances were put in order.

Fine Gael’s enterprise spokesman Richard Bruton, who also attended the INOU event, though said cracking the unemployment problem would solve the state’s financial crisis.


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