SVP doesn’t just think that the best way out of poverty is to have an education, we know it is.
We also know that given the current economic situation competition for jobs is tougher than ever, with 29 unemployed people for every job vacancy available. We also know that people with a junior leaving cert are three times more likely to be unemployed than those with an honours degree and those without a leaving cert have only a 30% rate of employment. That’s why it’s so important to make it as attractive and realistic as possible for people to be able to take up adult education at various stages in their life.
Whatever the type of course, being involved in education as an adult can be a very positive and life changing experience. The ripple effect of pride and positivity that a family can experience when someone takes on and completes a course can be very transformative. Unfortunately it can also be very stressful, frustrating and difficult trying to study on a low income, especially when there are family and financial commitments to complicate things.
Currently only 5% of people living in poverty go on to attain a third-level degree and recent austerity cuts have made it more difficult for people on low incomes or out of work to seriously consider taking up training or signing up to a course. It makes no sense to do away with the Cost of Education Allowance of €500 or to cut the Student Maintenance Grant by 4% again last year, after the previous years 5% reduction. This combined with the increase in Student Contribution Charge makes it even harder for less well-off students to get by.
SVP knows we need an educated work force to get out of this crisis and we don’t see the point in making it tougher for those least likely to have the means, support and back-up to take that first step to a better life and get into education. Making it tougher for them to succeed in their studies is cruel, short sighted and in many cases strips entire families of hope for the future.
If you agree with us that our Government should do its best to protect and encourage adult learners to access education please support our campaign - they need your support for a chance of a better future show them you care.