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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

Last update: 15 April 2022

The Department of Social Protection and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment are the main authority responsible for youth employment at a national level. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has responsibility for enterprise and youth enterprise policy, at local level supported by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO).

Economic Security and Opportunity is one of the five national outcome areas for young people in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020 (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2014), the overarching national policy framework for children and young people that ran until 2020.

The onset of Covid-19 and the associating public health measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus have resulted in a sharp rise in youth unemployment with a significant proportion of young people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Several youth employment measures were established related to commitments in the Youth Guarantee (2013) and the Reinforced Youth Guarantee (2020).

 . These include:

  • Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) (that ran until 2021)
  • JobsPlus for Youth
  • Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP)- this programme took the position of the YESS programme in 2021
  • Tús
  • Employment and Youth Activation Charter. 

Ireland has a developed career guidance support system across the education and training system including post-primary education, higher education and further education and training.

Guidance counselling in Ireland is practiced in a holistic and integrative way, and encompasses the areas of

  • social/personal counselling
  • vocational guidance counselling
  • educational guidance counselling.