70% of young people in Ireland aged 18-24 are considering moving abroad because they think they would enjoy a better quality of life elsewhere, according to a new survey.
The research was carried out by RED C on behalf of the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), and was published on Monday.
NYCI, the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland, has expressed concern at the findings of the survey which "show the severe impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on young people in Ireland," and is calling for action from the Government to prevent young people from moving abroad.
Commenting on the findings of the research, Paul Gordon, director of policy and advocacy, National Youth Council of Ireland, said:
“There is a real fear from young people about what the future holds for them. Many say they’re struggling to make ends meet and quality-of-life considerations are driving them to consider a future outside of Ireland. Government must act to ensure young people aren’t overlooked in this crisis.”
“The cost of living is affecting all of society, but it is impacting young people in a different way. They are more likely to report mental health difficulties and challenges with accommodation, and to spend a greater portion of their income on education and public transport expenses,” Mr Gordon said.
As part of its pre-Budget submission, NYCI is calling on the Government to:
- Reduce registration fees for those in college, higher education, or on apprenticeships.
- Raise the national minimum wage for under-20s to the same level as over-20s.
- Bring the rate of Jobseekers' Allowance for under-25s in line with that of those over 25.
- Extend the Young Adult travel card to more young people.
- Increase government investment in youth work services in local communities.
“There is strong support across all age groups for our proposals, with 85 per cent in favour of reducing registration fees, almost 8 in 10 supportive of raising the minimum wage for under-20s and extending the Young Adult travel card to more young people," Mr Gordon said. "2 in 3 are in favour of increasing government spending on youth work, and more than one in two support raising Jobseekers’ Allowance for under-25s.
“We want Government to heed the message that young people and the wider public are sending in this research, and to address the struggles NYCI frequently hears about from young people. Our leaders need to show young people in Ireland that they are a valued part of society, and that they not left out of the conversation on the cost-of-living," he finished.