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Youth guarantee: vote and debate at the European Parliament

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See you the youth guarantee scheme

With unemployment now affecting nearly one in four young Europeans, the EU is looking at ways to get them working again. The Parliament will debate a youth guarantee schemes that entitles young people to work, training or education after having been unemployed for four months.

The Commission proposes that all under 25s should receive a quality offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The scheme would be financially supported by the European Social Fund and integrated into the employment policies of every member state according to its needs. Member states would also need to establish partnerships with stakeholders and ensure early intervention by employment services.

Young people are those most at risk in the European labour market, and increasingly run the risk of being marginalised. This fact has immediate consequences, but also medium and long-term implications. The deepening labour market crisis can scar a large part of an entire young generation, damaging employment, productivity and social cohesion now and in the future.

EP president Martin Schulz spoke out in favour of  the youth guarantee scheme during a speech to the Council on 13 December 2012: "Our shared responsibility must be to ensure that the crisis does not rob young Europeans of their future." He added: "Given the disastrous level of youth unemployment in Europe, the youth job guarantee is vitally important." Mr Schulz also welcomed the Irish presidency making the scheme a priority.

In Greece and Spain more than 55% of young people were unemployed in 2011 and for the EU as a whole this was 21% (which equals about 5.5 million young people). This is twice as much as the unemployment rate for people over 25 in most member states and this has dramatically increased over the last four years. Only 30 % of the unemployed aged 15-24 in 2010 found a job in 2011, a drop of almost 10 % in just three years.

Some 5.5 million young people on the EU labour market cannot find a job, and 7.5 million young people aged 15-24 are NEETs – not in employment, education or training. Youth Employment Package includes a proposed Commission Recommendation to EU countries on introducing the Youth Guarantee to ensure that all young people up to age 25 receive a quality offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The economic cost of not integrating young people into labour market has been estimated by Eurofound at over €150 billion per year, or 1.2% of EU GDP. Some countries, such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Poland, are paying 2% or more of their GDP. Avoiding these economic costs now and in the future outweighs by far the fiscal costs of the proposed Youth Guarantee.Youth

Employment Page: http://ec.europa.eu/social/youthemployment

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