Youth Employment Package, 5 December 2012

The European Commission will present concrete proposals and measures aimed at combating youth unemployment in the form of a Communication on a Youth Employment Package on 5 December 2012.

Some 14 million young people are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) across the EU as a whole. However rates vary widely from from around 5.5% of 15-24 year olds in the Netherlands to 22.7% in Italy. Data from the 3rd European Quality of Life survey shows, nevertheless, that even in countries with high levels of youth unemployment there can be very different levels of optimism among the young - compare Greece and Spain, for example.

The Communication is expected to include proposals on 'youth guarantees' - the concept that every young person should receive a quality offer of employment or training or further education within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.

Some highlights of Eurofound's recent work on youth:

  • NEETs: young people not in employment, education or training
    An investigation of the current situation of young people in Europe, and the economic and social consequences of their disengagement from the labour market and education. Member State initiatives to help reintegrate young people into the labour market are also reviewed; main points are summarised in an infographic.
  • Youth guarantees
    Eurofound published a short paper summarising the strengths and weaknesses of youth guarantee schemes, focusing in particular on youth guarantee initiatives which have been introduced in Finland and Sweden.
  • Helping young workers during the crisis
    Young workers in Europe have long faced many difficulties in their transition into the labour market and particularly in finding secure employment. While social partners have generally recognised the problems facing young workers, collective bargaining has not proved particularly useful (though there are some exceptions) in dealing with young workers’ difficulties in the labour market. Governments have been particularly active in promoting a range of labour market policies. Of these the promotion of apprenticeships seems to have attracted widespread support across the EU.
  • Active inclusion for young people with disabilities or health problems
    Eurofound research pays particular attention to activation measures in health, social and employment services. The research also looks at the role of incapacity benefits agencies, education systems, employers and trade unions.