Lithuania: Social partners sign memorandum of cooperation to implement Youth Guarantee
In January 2014, social partners agreed to cooperate in implementing the Youth Guarantee in Lithuania. They will seek to ensure that young people acquire the appropriate competencies and qualifications and be offered a job or continued education/training within four months of leaving education or becoming unemployed.
Youth Guarantee implementation plan
In compliance with the Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee (2013/C 120/01), the Minister for Social Security and Labour approved the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan for Lithuania on 16 December 2013. The main objective of the plan is to ensure that all young people up to the age of 29 are offered jobs, continued education or vocational training in the form of apprenticeships or traineeships within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.
The Plan identified the following key goals:
- promote early intervention and activity;
- promote integration into the labour market;
- facilitate cooperation between state institutions, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and business to integrate young people into the labour market and/or education system;
- improve access to and quality of vocational guidance services;
- ensure the acquisition of quality skills in the education and training system;
- develop a framework for the assessment and recognition of competencies;
- promote self-employment and entrepreneurship.
Lithuania has allocated a total of LTL 109 million (€31.5 million as at 21 October 2014) from the funds of the EU Youth Guarantee Initiative for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in 2014–2015; at least the same amount will be matched from the European Social Fund for the period 2014–2020. The main institution coordinating the Youth Guarantee implementation in Lithuania is the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (SADM).
Involvement of social partners
On 14 January 2014, the social partners – representatives of state institutions, business, employer, employee and youth organisations – signed a memorandum agreeing to cooperate in implementing the Youth Guarantee initiative in Lithuania.
Listing of social partners in initiative
Representatives from a total of 15 institutions signed the memorandum:
- ministers for social security and labour, education and science, economy and agriculture;
- the president of the Lithuanian Youth Council;
- the president of the Lithuanian National Union of Students;
- vice-president of the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania;
- executive director of Investors Forum;
- the president of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists;
- the president of the Lithuanian Business Confederation;
- the director-general of the Lithuanian Business Employers’ Confederation;
- the director-general of the Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts;
- the presidents of the three main trade union confederations – the Confederation of Lithuanian Trade Unions, the Lithuanian Trade Union ‘Solidarumas’ and the Lithuanian Labour Federation.
Agreed tasks for cooperation
By signing the memorandum, the social partners agreed to undertake a number of tasks, including those listed below.
Forecast the need for skills and qualified professionals in different sectors: This can ensure a better match between the skills acquired and the needs of the labour market.
Improve vocational guidance services: This also entails developing a framework for assessing and recognising competencies and ensure that the education system can facilitate the acquisition of the appropriate skills.
Boost vocational training: Increase the supply and quality of vocational training by designing suitable training programmes; enhance the scope of on-the-job training; develop systems of apprenticeships; and publicise best practice schemes for successful apprenticeships and on-the-job training;
Support organisations in implementing the Youth Guarantee: Businesses and organisations willing to implement the measures of the Youth Guarantee can be supported by granting target subsidies to employers to compensate for their fixed employment costs and providing the possibility of getting funding for on-the-job vocational training.
Foster positive attitudes among young people towards business: To this end, social partners can highlight the achievements of business people and their contributions to society, as well as opportunities for setting up new business undertakings; in addition, they can create an environment favourable to business development and simplify the regulation of employment relationships.
Other bodies invited to join in implementation
The signatory social partners have invited other state institutions, employers, trade unions and education establishments, as well as non-governmental and voluntary organisations to join in implementing the Youth Guarantee. They have also called on local authorities to develop closer cooperation with local labour exchanges, educational institutions and business organisations in implementing the initiative and to enter into regional partnership agreements aimed at increasing youth employment.
The social partners have established a Monitoring Commission to monitor the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. The Commission will discuss issues and propose ways to improve implementation.