European Youth Guarantee – a solution to counter youth unemployment?

Emil Wojtaluk

The European Youth Guarantee has been launched in April 2013. EU member states committed themselves to ensure the implementation of the program by facilitating young people’s successful transition into work. Is it working? Let’s find out…

 

Source: newslettereuropean.eu

Source: newslettereuropean.eu

How does it work…

The idea behind launching this program was to ensure that ALL young people under the age of 25 would get an appropriate offer within 4 months from ending formal education or becoming unemployed (no matter if registered with employment services or not). An offer, mentioned above should be for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship or for continued education, taking into account individual needs.

It all started with creating Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans, made by each EU country in 2014. Then the pilot programs were launched from December 2014 to June 2015 in Finland, Latvia, Portugal and Romania – which aimed to disseminate information about the Youth Guarantee, first by properly addressing the target group. One of the main principles is to create strong cooperation between all stakeholders, which are inter alia: public authorities, career guidance providers, education and training institutions, employers etc. To improve the number of quality offers the European Alliance for Apprenticeship (EAfA) helps to facilitate the implementation of the program by bringing together EU institutions, countries and regions, companies etc. EU member states are able to check each other how the program is implemented in their countries by using Mutual Learning Programme of the European Commission. Other pilot programs were also created in the early stage in 2013, with the participation of Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom running for one year in each country – aimed at developing partnership, support the labor market integration and promoting the scope of actions.

Registration process for the Youth Guarantee in 3 steps:

  • Registration
  • Meeting your own advisor
  • Getting quality offer (of job, apprenticeship, traineeship or education)

First successes

Source: emprendedorescreativos.com

Source: emprendedorescreativos.com

Number of countries enacted specific laws to improve quality of education and learning. Here are some of them: France created a new law on lifelong learning and VET (vocational education and training); in Portugal VET centers started to function for basic (age 14) and secondary (age 15-17) students etc. As for “school-to-work transitions” Poland has focused on the outreach to unregistered young people, providing vocational counseling and among other things activation tools like vouchers and start-up loans (for those who wish to set up their own economic activity).

 

Funding

The Youth Guarantee is funded from the well-known European Social Fund with the support of Youth Employment Initiative (which amounts to 6 bln euro). €12.7 billion is directed to labor market integration of young people, €11 billion from ESF to modernize employment services and promoting self-employment. Finally, €26 billion is planned to be spent on education measures (lifelong learning).

To conclude…

From the perspective of Polish citizen I have to admit that I was not familiar with Youth Guarantee before I did my research at the official websites of the European Union. Dissemination of the project seems to lack a lot, at least in my own country. Neither public authorities at local level nor the government have implemented appropriate measures to raise the awareness of the project among young people. More specific measures should be used – like meetings with high school or university students and also launching a country-wide media campaign. I am afraid that if it is not done, chances for most of our young citizens to benefit from Youth Guarantee will be low since many of them simply have not heard about it!

To find more information on Youth Guarantee please visit the official website of the program (including directions to national coordinators available in each EU member state):

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1079&langId=en

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