Ireland should not be permitted to slip slide out of its responsibility to ensure access to the EU Youth Guarantee Programme for young people with disabilities.
This was the core message delivered by Marian in a debate on the Youth Guarantee scheme in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
She questioned the attitude of the Irish government and the European Union both of which were not, she said, prepared to provide the same guarantee to young people with a disability as they were to other young people.
Marian said:- “The Youth Guarantee is a flagship project for the EU and we really must deliver on our guarantee. A guarantee is a very strong word – it means we provide a definite assurance, we pledge to young people an offer of quality employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or finish education. When we make that pledge we must deliver.
"Access for young people to the Youth Guarantee is crucial and, in this context, I submitted a complaint to the EU Commission that young people with disabilities in Ireland are in reality not able to access the Youth Guarantee. I received a reply from the Commission saying they are satisfied with the Irish government response that there are alternative back to work supports for young persons with disabilities. But the very point of a Youth Guarantee is that there is a guarantee for all young people. This must be without exception.
“In Ireland young people with disabilities are usually on disability allowance and not on job seekers and so cannot access the Youth Guarantee. We need to streamline our system immediately to ensure this discrimination is stopped immediately and we need the support of the EU Commission in doing so.
“Member states should not be allowed to slip slide out of their responsibilities to ensure an effective and accessible Youth Guarantee".