Employment and labour markets

Youth first! Employment, skills and social policies that work for young Europeans in times of uncertainty

Joi, 08/09/2022
Joi, 08/09/2022

Joint event - Five EU Agencies and the Employment Committee of the European Parliament explored the challenges and opportunities facing young people

Date: Thursday, 8 September 2022 - Time: 09:00-12:00 GMT/10:00-13:00 CEST

Venue: European Parliament/Spinelli 1E2

In the European Year of Youth, five EU Agencies, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), the European Labour Authority (ELA), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and the European Training Foundation (ETF), came together to organise a seminar with the Employment Committee of the European Parliament to share their insights and explore the challenges and opportunities for young people in times of uncertainty.

The Directors of the five Agencies together with MEPs and other experts discussed working conditions for young people, youth policies, well-being and mental health, access to education and training, opportunities for cross-border mobility, realities in EU neighbouring countries and much more!

The presentations and debate were held in English. Participation at the on-site seminar was by invitation only. 

Click here for photos from the event on 8 September


Time (CEST)



Moderator: Clara Drammeh, Trainer and expert, European Youth Forum


Welcome and introduction

  • MEP Dragoș Pîslaru, Chair of the EMPL Committee, European Parliament
  • Joost Korte, Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
10:20–10:35 Panel 1 – Importance of young people’s participation in society and on the labour market 
Let’s discuss why we should put youth first!
  • Ivailo Kalfin, Executive Director, Eurofound
  • Mara Brugia, Deputy Director, Cedefop 
  • Cosmin Boiangiu, Executive Director, ELA 

Panel 2 – Providing opportunities for young people
Getting a job and developing the right skills for a changing world of work
Discussion on how to create opportunities for jobs, education, training, quality work experience programmes and skills for the twin transition despite all of the challenges. Taking advantage of the cross-border European labour markets and reflecting on European youth policies and the world.

  • Jürgen Siebel, Executive Director, Cedefop
  • Irene Mandl, Head of Unit Information and EURES, ELA
  • Xavier Matheu, ad interim Director, ETF
11:00–11:20 Invited comments and Q&A with MEPs and audience
11:20–11:40 Coffee break

Meeting the expectations of young Europeans

  • Maria Rodriguez Alcázar, Board Member, European Youth Forum 

Panel 3 – Shaping a future that works for young people
Supporting youth facing different challenges: investing in job quality, well-being and health and safety matters 


A reflection on who really is in this group of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) and how to design adequate support measures to meet their needs. Examining young workers’ job quality, well-being and sharing of good practices to protect the health and safety of young people in the workplace.

  • Maria Jepsen, Deputy Director, Eurofound
  • William Cockburn, Interim Executive Director, EU-OSHA 
  • Francesca Rosso, Coordinator for Skills Demand Analysis, ETF 

Invited comments and Q&A with MEPs and audience

12:35–12:55 European Agencies – Working together for the future of youth in Europe
  • Jürgen Siebel, Executive Director, Cedefop
  • Ivailo Kalfin, Executive Director, Eurofound
  • Cosmin Boiangiu, Executive Director, ELA 
  • William Cockburn, Interim Executive Director, EU-OSHA 
  • Xavier Matheu, ad interim Director, ETF
12:55–13:00 Conclusions by the Chair of the EMPL Committee and close 


The event

In Europe, we recognise the importance of the development, well-being and participation in society and the labour market of young people. We do that by investing in their potential, supporting their labour market integration, promoting quality jobs, facilitating skills development and mobility, and fighting economic and social exclusion. While the intentions, strategies and policy packages have become more ambitious over time, many young people today still have difficulties grasping the opportunities to be or to become the best they can be.

On the road to recovery and resilience, these opportunities should become even more visible and enable youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital. Bringing together their complementary expertise, the European Agencies aim to support EU institutions, Member States and other stakeholders in addressing policy challenges and capitalising on practices that work across Member States in times of disruption and transition.

Further information

EU policy documents


For more information, see the European Labour Authority event web page

About the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) of the European Parliament

The EMPL Committee is responsible for employment and all aspects of social policy including working conditions, social security, social inclusion and social protection; the free movement of workers and pensioners; workers' rights; health and safety measures at the workplace; the European Social Fund; vocational training policy, including professional qualifications; social dialogue; and all forms of discrimination at the workplace and in the labour market except those based on sex. We are also in charge of the relations with five agencies: Cedefop, Eurofound, EU-OSHA, ETF and the newly created ELA.

The Committee has 55 members and the same number of substitutes, representing Parliament's seven political groups.

About the European Parliament

The European Parliament (EP) is the legislative branch of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. It is directly-elected and made up of 705 members (MEPs) representing all EU countries. The European Parliament decides upon EU legislation, including the multiannual budget, together with the Council of the European Union (EU Member State governments). The EP holds other EU institutions, like the European Commission, to account.

It elects the President of the European Commission and plays a key role in vetting Commissioner-designates through individual hearings. The College of Commissioners - how the twenty-seven commissioners are referred to collectively - must then be approved through a consent vote by the EP.

Members of the European Parliament are elected in EU member states every five years and represent around 446 million citizens. Over the years, and with subsequent changes to EU treaties, the Parliament has acquired substantial legislative and budgetary powers.

About the EU Agencies

Cedefop was founded in 1975 and is based in Greece since 1995. Cedefop supports the promotion, development and implementation of the Union policy in the field of vocational education and training (VET) as well as skills and qualifications policies by working together with the Commission, Member States and social partners. To this end, it enhances and disseminates knowledge, provides evidence and services for policy-making, including research-based conclusions, and facilitates knowledge sharing among and between EU and national actors.

Eurofound is a tripartite European Union Agency based in Dublin, whose role is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies. Eurofound provides information, advice and expertise on working conditions and sustainable work, industrial relations, labour market change and quality and life and public services, to support the EU Institutions and bodies, Member States and Social Partners in shaping and implementing social and employment policies, as well as promoting social dialogue on the basis of comparative information, research and analysis.

EU-OSHA is the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health and is based in Bilbao. The agency’s work contributes to the European Commission’s Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027 and other relevant EU strategies and programmes. EU-OSHA works to make European workplaces safer, healthier and more productive — for the benefit of businesses, employees and governments and promotes a culture of risk prevention to improve working conditions in Europe.

The European Training Foundation is a European Union agency, based in Turin, Italy and operational since 1994, that helps transition and developing countries harness the potential of their human capital through the reform of education, training and labour market systems, and in the context of the EU's external relations policy.

The European Labour Authority (ELA) was established in July 2019 and has been created to help strengthen fairness and trust in the internal market by assisting Member States and the European Commission to ensure that EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way. ELA also has an important role to play in facilitating and ensuring effective labour mobility in Europe, in particular by activities of the European Employment Services (EURES).

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