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Joblessness among youths

Record of youth unemployment in some parts of Europe

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The eurozone debt and economic crisis has seen joblessness among youths approach 60 per cent in Greece, top 55 per cent in Spain, and reach nearly 39 per cent in Italy.

The statistics show that there are 7.5 million young Europeans (aged 15-24) not in employment, education or training in the EU.

A new 6-billion-euro (7.8-billion-dollar) EU initiative aims to guarantee young people either a job placement, work training, university study or an internship within four months of leaving school.

The initiative was proposed by the Council on 7-8 February 2013. In concrete terms, €6 billion will be allocated to fund youth programs for the period 2014-20. The funds would help Member States to impose new measures against youth unemployment. According to the EU rules young people up to age 25 must receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.

The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Laszlo Andor, on Wednesday met German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Ursula von der Leyen in Berlin to discuss the scheme.

Andor said that youth unemployment and its related social problems now cost the European Union about 1.2 per cent of gross domestic product, or 150 billion euros.

"It‘s an enormous sum, it‘s an enormous waste," the commissioner said. "It‘s a waste of human capital because, if young people for years don‘t find their way to the labour market, it means that it easily becomes a lost generation."

He warned that this is both an economic loss and a major social risk, and that "it has also the potential for further destabilization."

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