Youth unemployed is a massive problem is parts of Europe. Statistics show that southern Europe has been the hardest hit by the recession, and young people have been massively affected by the loss of jobs and opportunities. Youth unemployment is 43% in Greece and 38% in Spain, which when compared to the overall unemployment rates of 21% and 16%, it’s clear to see more needs to be done to help Europe’s younger generation.
A statement from the EU Commission says that “The EU supports member states in reducing youth unemployment and increasing the youth employment rate in line with the wider EU target of achieving a 75% employment rate for the working-age population (20-64 years).” But when the EU is facing so many problems, what can be done to address this issue, and how can we make sure all young people in Europe reach their full potential?
Why is youth employment important?
All EU member states have a responsibility when it come to reducing youth unemployment in line with the overall working age (20-64) target employment rate of 75%. In 2016 it’s estimated that over 6.3 million young people (aged 15-24) were not in any form of education, work or training. Although this figure has decreased since 2013, youth unemployment is still twice as high as the overall unemployment rate and the EU is committed to addressing the issue. The EU also needs to address the disparity between different countries. There’s a massive gap between the country with the lowest rate (Germany at 7%) and the highest rate (Greece at 47%).
What action does the EU plan to take?
The EU has a number of strategies which are designed to tackle the ongoing problem of high youth unemployment. The Youth Guarantee provides commitment from all EU members, which is designed to help ensure that all young people have good opportunities and a bright future. The Youth Guarantee is based on recommendations by the commission, and it aims to offer everyone under 25 the chance to receive good quality employment, education, training or an apprenticeship after a four month period of being unemployed.
The Investing in Europe’s Youth communication from last year also put forward proposals which enable better support for young people looking to access quality employment, education or training. Other EU initiatives include the European Solidarity Corps and European Alliance for Apprenticeships, both of which aim to provide high quality opportunities for unemployed young people. The Youth Employment Initiative was started in 2013, and is one of the main sources of finance in order to support these schemes in countries with high unemployment rates.
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