Greens call for dedicated Traveller Employment Strategy

11th June 2018



Census figures show that 80% of the Travelling Community were unemployed
 
Green Party Justice Spokesperson, Councillor Roderic O’Gorman, today called for the creation of a dedicated Traveller Employment Strategy. He was speaking in response to an answer from the Minister for Social Protection to a question put down by Catherine Martin TD which revealed 80% of the Travelling Community were unemployed.
 
Speaking today, Councillor O’Gorman said: “Unemployment continues to be a huge issue for the Travelling Community. Census 2016 showed that 80% of adults in the Travelling Community were unemployed. Similar figures were revealed in the recently published National Traveller Community Survey 2017. I believe the time has come for a dedicated Traveller Employment Strategy.
 
“In response to a question Catherine Martin TD put to the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection about this, the Minister made reference to National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy for the 2017-2021. While this document, published by the Minister for Justice in 2017, does set out some action points for improving Traveller participation in employment and education, it is not nearly detailed enough in terms of the measures to be taken. Particularly, there a few in the way of targets to be achieved in terms of specific improvements in employment levels.
 
“While the recognition of Traveller ethnicity was an important symbolic gesture, it will mean little if it is not accompanied with real improvements in the lives of individual Travellers. Providing a clear pathway to employment would make a huge difference for many Traveller families. The State needs to step up to this challenge and outline a clear goal of reducing the 80% unemployment rate and the specific steps to achieve this, through a dedicated Traveller Employment Strategy.”
 
The Dail Question submitted by Catherine Martin TD can be found here.