A key weapon in the fight against youth unemployment, the Youth Guarantee states that the offer should be for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship or to continue in education and that it should be tailored to individual's needs and situation. The aim is to structurally improve school-to-work transitions and directly support jobs for youngsters. As contexts vary, the Youth Guarantee might take a different form in your country from that in another EU country.
The scheme is based on successful experience in Austria and Finland: the Finnish youth guarantee resulted in a reduction in unemployment among young people, with 83.5% successfully allocated a job, traineeship, apprenticeship or further education course within three months of registering.
National implementation plans
To develop the Youth Guarantee and make sure it works in practice, there needs to be strong cooperation between all those involved (public authorities, education institutions, employers, etc). To start the process, EU countries have submitted national Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans, which identify measures to be taken and, for example, the timeframe and roles of public authorities and other organisations.
Delivering on the objectives of a Youth Guarantee requires strategic reforms to achieve more successful transitions from school to the labour market. These might involve stronger public employment services, better partnerships for reaching out to young people and changes to education systems. After the Commission's assessment of the national implementation plans, eight countries were asked to take more decisive action.
As the Youth Guarantee is still work in progress, you can't benefit from it just yet. However, 18 pilot projects launched in seven countries between August and December 2013, show what's involved and give an idea of what the future Youth Guarantee might look like in your country:
In Romania, 'job clubs' were set up to prepare young people for working life by providing guidance, organising special training courses and setting up training firms. In the UK, partnerships were established between schools and local employers to offer traineeships, apprenticeships and work placements for young people; including one-on-one mentoring and a 'choices event'.
Italy organised school visits, company visits, entrepreneurship events and seminars to motivate youngsters not in education, employment or training. In Ireland, young jobseekers had interviews with advisers from public employment services. Lithuania developed a model whereby the Vilnius City and County Business Employers' Confederation operates a 'matchmaking service', including two-week work placements, between young jobseekers and local companies.
To find out more about the Youth Guarantee and how it's being implemented, read the Youth Guarantee memo from the European Commission.