Funding from the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative in France was given the green light, but the European Commission has not let up on its criticism of the French version of the scheme. EURACTIV France reports.
The French programme to promote youth employment has received the Commission’s blessings, of sorts.
France is the first country to benefit from its part of the €6 billion from the European Union to help fight youth unemployment in the worse hit regions. Their share will amount to €620 million for 2014 and 2015.
The European funds aim to reinforce initiatives to promote youth employment put in place by the French government, such as the Youth Guarantee, or “second chance” education.
“France is the third largest benefactor state, behind Spain and Italy”, boasted the French Minister of Labour, François Rebsamen.
But even though France secured the EU funds, the European Commission has criticised the efficiency of national measures.
“Public services to promote youth employment (called ‘local missions’) are having difficulties proposing appropriate services to job-seekers,” emphasised the EU Commission in its recommendations on France’s 2014 national reform programme, issued on 2 June.
According to the Commission, the measures taken by the French government to deliver the Youth Guarantee are “insufficient”.
“The actual quality of this support, which includes CV-writing workshops and interview simulations, is unclear at this stage. Moreover, this guarantee only tackles a minor part of the overall youth unemployment, as there are 674,000 young people registered in total,” the Commission states.
Currently, the French Youth Guarantee supports just 10,000 young people between 18-25 who are not working, studying or training (NEET). From October 2014, 20,000 more people should be able to benefit from the scheme. The scheme will eventually encompass the whole of France by 2016. The aim is eventually to support 100,000 young French job seekers per year. Even if the French scheme reaches its target figures, it will only aid a minority of NEET youth, in France.
The Commission highlights failures in coordination mechanisms between different Youth Guarantee actors. “France has not introduced one-stop shops providing a single information point,” the recommendations say.
Adopted in February 2013, the pan-European Youth Guarantee scheme aims to support people under 25 to find a job, training programme or an internship in the first four months following school graduation, or becoming unemployed.