Brussels, 7 April 2014
Youth Guarantee: Making It Happen conference
The European Commission will host a conference in Brussels on 8th April to discuss progress towards tackling youth unemployment through the Youth Guarantee and how EU countries are implementing the scheme. The "Youth Guarantee: Making it Happen" conference will be opened by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. Speakers include European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor and Director General of the International Labour Organisation Guy Ryder.
Ahead of the conference, President Barroso said, "With youth unemployment unacceptably high across the EU, we need to do something urgently to help young people into jobs. Youth Guarantees have proven their worth in several Member States, which is why the European Commission has stepped in to recommend they be implemented across the EU. And we have backed this up with at least €6 billion of dedicated funding from the Youth Employment Initiative that Member States must now put to good use. This is a commitment at the highest level that we are actively working to give young people hope for the future."
Commissioner Andor said "The Youth Guarantee is not business as usual. It’s an ambitious and innovative policy for youth employment targeting a clear result: that every young person gets a good labour market opportunity within 4 months. This requires investment and many structural changes in how young people are supported in moving from school to work. We cannot expect all young people's job prospects to improve from one day to the next. But we do expect all Member States to promptly implement the Youth Guarantee to give everyone a real chance".
The conference will look at measures introduced and proposed to implement the Youth Guarantee, with examples of good practice. It will pay particular attention to the implementation challenges faced by countries with the highest youth unemployment and it will discuss how EU funds can best be used to support the Youth Guarantee. Representatives of the ILO, OECD and Australia (on behalf of the rotating Presidency of the G20) will put the discussion on youth unemployment in a global context and show how Europe’s Youth Guarantee relates to youth employment measures of other major economies. The social partners will also participate and will discuss what systemic changes are needed to improve skills matching with labour market needs. Also important will be the involvement of the private sector, and the conference will discuss concrete contributions from companies involved in the European Alliance for Apprenticeships to improve the availability of apprenticeships and develop dual training systems.
The full programme can be seen on the event webpage, from where viewers will also be able to webstream the conference.
With 5.5 million people under the age of 25 unable to find work, youth unemployment remains one of the biggest difficulties facing Europe. This is why the Commission has been working on measures to help tackle this, namely the Youth Guarantee, proposed in December 2012 and adopted by the EU's Council of Ministers in April 2013.
The Youth Guarantee is one of the most crucial and urgent structural reforms that Member States must introduce to address youth unemployment and to improve school to work transitions.
Member States must offer all young people up to age 25 a quality job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The logic is simple: Member States must ensure young people receive personalised advice to either enable them to find a job suited to their education, skills and experience or to acquire the education, skills and experience that are directly relevant to increasing their chances of finding a job in the future.
The Commission is urging every Member State to put in place a Youth Guarantee with the help of financial support from the European Social Fund, worth over €80 billion from 2014-20, and from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) with a budget of €6.4 billion (current prices) frontloaded for 2014 and 2015.
The Youth Guarantee is complemented by a Quality Framework for Traineeships, adopted by the EU's Council of Ministers on 10th March (see IP/14/236), so as to enable young people to acquire high-quality work experience under safe conditions, and by the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, launched by the Commission in July 2013 to improve the quality and supply of apprenticeships across the EU (see IP/13/634).
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