The European Commission on Wednesday presented a proposal aimed at tackling youth unemployment across Europe.
The new package includes the so-called “Youth guarantee”. It is a tool that hopes to ensure that all youth under 25 receive a quality job, internship or education offer within four months of finishing school or becoming unemployed.
“We urge member states to implement the youth guarantee by establishing a scheme to ensure that all young people up to the age of 25 receive either a quality job offer, continued education, an apprenticeship or traineeship within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed”, EU Social Affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor told a news conference on Wednesday.
According to the Commission, around 7.5 million young Europeans between 15 and 24 are unemployed and not in an education programme.
The proposal wants to guarantee smoother transitions from school to work. In order to do so, it urges member states to establish partnerships with the education system, public employment services and youth associations.
“(…)The Commission has launched a consultation of social partners and we hope they will enter into negotiations. If not, the Commission will reflect on making a related proposal in summer 2013”.
“(…) We wish to improve the quality and the supply of apprenticeships in the EU by a European alliance of apprenticeships in 2013”, EU Social Affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor told a news conference on Wednesday.
The EU executive says that youth unemployment is expensive. It costs member states over 150 billion euros per year.
Andor stressed that the Commission is willing to support the scheme by using money from the European Social Fund.
“Given the massive youth unemployment crisis, we have to invest in Europe’s young people now, we can not afford to leave young people on the scrap heap. We have to give them the skills and the experience that help them to get a job. These four initiatives are not simply about alleviating a short term pain but about introducing structural improvements in order to emerge from the crisis with a better- functioning European labour market”, EU Social Affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor told a news conference on Wednesday.
Europe’s youth unemployment rate currently stands at 20 percent. In some countries, such as Greece or Spain, it’s as high as 50%.