In the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office, 17.1% of those aged 15-24 remained out of work in August.
Commenting on the new data Senator Ardagh said, "The rate of youth unemployment remains far too high and demonstrates the fact that thousands of young people are yet to feel any benefits of the economic recovery.
“While unemployment is falling generally, it is time that this government effectively addressed youth unemployment in a comprehensive way.
“As Minister for State for Training, Skills and Innovation, Minister Halligan needs to refocus his attention towards his portfolio or we may end up with an entrenched two-tier society where an entire generation of young people are left behind. In his position he has the capacity to directly impact the employability of young people through training and upskilling.
“It’s clear that the action plan for jobs is failing to capture skilled Irish graduates. It is unacceptable that the number of highly qualified graduates leaving the country continues unabated. There is clearly a significant void in supports and opportunities for graduates which must be addressed.
"Pro-active thinking is required to help tackle youth unemployment and lift young people out of long-term unemployment.
“There are serious negative consequences for the individual and wider society if we fail to tackle youth unemployment. There is still a significant disparity in the nature of the recovery across the country. If there is to be any real lasting recovery then it must extend to all regions, age demographic and communities in a fair and balanced way.
“We need concrete action on youth unemployment and innovative government policy that will lead to secure and lasting employment for all.” concluded Senator Ardagh.