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Brussels, 15 September 2010

Youth on the Move – strengthening support to Europe's young people

Five million young Europeans are looking for a job. Many of them will miss opportunities because they lack the right qualifications or experience. Today, the European Commission launches Youth on the Move, a new flagship initiative aimed at helping these young people to gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to make their first job a reality. Part of the EU’s new Europe 2020 strategy, Youth on the Move proposes 28 key actions aimed at making education and training more relevant to young people's needs and encouraging more of them to take advantage of EU grants to study or train in another country. This will increase young people's employability and access to the labour market.

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "The measures we are presenting today are aimed at raising the quality of education and training in Europe so that our young people are properly equipped for today's job market. We want to reduce the number of early school leavers and increase the share of young people in tertiary education so that they reach their full potential. The EU needs even more young people who are highly skilled, knowledgeable and innovative if it is to prosper in the future."

László Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: "Finding a job is what millions of young Europeans are most concerned about. Youth on the Move will create new momentum at EU and national level to improve support for young people so that they can find a job, make a living and pursue their own plans.”

It's time to act…

At present, too many young people leave school early and too few enter higher education, which jeopardises Europe's future skills base.

Youth on the Move will be instrumental in achieving the Europe 2020 headline targets of reducing the share of early school leavers from 15% to 10% and increasing the share of young people with tertiary education or equivalent from 31% to at least 40% by 2020. Youth on the Move actions will also help Member States reach the headline EU target for 75% employment over the next ten years by helping to ensure that young people have the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Commission studies show that 35% of new jobs will require high-level qualifications by 2020 and that 50% will require medium-level qualifications.

The economic and financial crisis has made it harder for young Europeans to enter the labour market. The number of young people looking for a job has increased from 4 to 5 million since the onset of the financial turmoil, with EU youth unemployment now at nearly 21%.

These challenges call for concerted action and robust policy coordination to identify action at EU level and in Member States. The Commission will support Member States in designing policies to support those most at risk of unemployment, to do more to encourage young entrepreneurs and to address legal and administrative obstacles to learning and working mobility.

Independent studies show that more than 40% of employers attach importance to the experience gained from study and work abroad, which not only enables young people to improve their language abilities but also to acquire other skills that are highly valued. The Commission already has a long tradition of supporting mobility through the grants it provides from Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig and Marie Curie.

Youth on the Move aims to extend opportunities for learning mobility to all young people in Europe by 2020. The Commission will today launch a public consultation on the future of its mobility programmes for post 2013 (see

Top 10 actions

The Youth on the Move strategy includes the following targeted actions:

·    Launch of a dedicated Youth on the Move website, which will provide a single point of access to information about opportunities to study or gain work experience abroad, including advice about EU grants and individual rights. This will build on existing initiatives such as the Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space (PLOTEUS).

·    A pilot project "Your first EURES job" will provide advice, job search and financial support to young jobseekers who want to work abroad and to companies - particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. The project will be managed by EURES, the network of European Public Employment Services, and will be operational in 2011.

·    A mobility scoreboard will benchmark and measure progress in removing legal and technical obstacles to learning mobility.

·    The Commission is examining, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank, the creation of a European student lending facility to support students who wish to study or train abroad.

·    It will publish the findings of a study to test the feasibility of a multi-dimensional global university ranking system, to provide a more complete and realistic picture of higher education performance than existing rankings.

·    It also plans to develop a Youth on the Move card, which would provide benefits and discounts for young people.

·    A new European Vacancy Monitor will provide an intelligence system on labour market demand across Europe for jobseekers and employment advisors. The launch is planned later this year.

·    The Commission's new European Progress Micro-finance Facility will provide financial support to help young entrepreneurs set up or develop their businesses.

·    It will encourage Member States to introduce a youth guarantee to ensure all young people are in a job, training or work experience within four months of leaving school.

·    The Commission will propose a European skills passport, based on Europass (European online CV), to allow skills to be recorded in a transparent and comparable way. Launch: Autumn 2011.


On Friday 17 September, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will take part in a web-chat on Youth on the Move from 15:00-16:00. Questions can be sent in advance or during the web-chat, in any EU language, to this address:

The web-chat will be streamed live here:

Youth on the Move will be promoted through a Europe-wide information campaign. Special kick-off events will be held in Budapest, Hungary, on 8-9 October and in Bordeaux, France, on 14-16 October.

More information

Youth on the Move website:

Video interview of Commissioners Vassiliou and Andor:

Youth on the Move Communication:

Youth on the Move: Citizens' summary:

Proposal for a Council Recommendation on learning mobility:

Staff working paper: Results of the 2009 public consultation on learning mobility:

See also MEMO/10/408.

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