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The European Parliament votes in favour youth employment guarantees

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The European Parliament today adopted a resolution on the proposed Youth Employment Package, which includes a youth guarantee scheme.

Youth guarantee schemes to ensure that no young person in the EU goes without a job, education or training for more than four months won strong support in Parliament on Wednesday 16 January. MEPs voted in favour of a resolution calling on EU employment ministers to agree in February 2013 to a Council recommendation that all member states introduce these schemes.

Youth guarantee schemes aim to ensure that all EU citizens of up to 25 years old and recent graduates under 30 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed, underlines the resolution.

The resolution was adopted with 546 votes in favour, 96 against and 28 abstentions.

Parliament has already called for such schemes twice and strongly supports the European Commission proposal for a Council recommendation to introduce these schemes in all member states.Youth Guarantee schemes should be eligible for EU funding, in particular from the European Social Fund, which should therefore be allocated at least 25% of EU structural funds, say MEPs.Parliament also calls on the Commission to help those member states that are in dire financial straits to introduce the schemes.

EU youth unemployment averaged 23.7% in November 2012. It exceeded 15% in all but four countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark), 30% in Portugal, Italy, Slovakia and Latvia, and 50% in Greece and Spain. The UK rate was 20.2 and Ireland´s 29.7.

The Youth Guarantee proposal will be the main focus of an informal meeting of the EU Social Protection Ministers in Dublin on Friday, 8th February.

The idea is to provide young people under 25 years of age with education, training, work-placement or other labour market activation opportunities, within four months of becoming unemployed.

Similar systems already exist in several member states, including Austria, Finland and Sweden.

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