Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

european-youth-forum-logoBrussels, 8th April 2014 // The European Youth Forum is today launching a new report “Youth organisations and the Youth Guarantee in Europe” at the European Commission’s high-level conference “Youth Guarantee: Making it happen”.

The report finds that whilst the youth guarantee provides an unprecedented opportunity to address youth unemployment across Europe in a coordinated and comprehensive manner, the youth sector feels that, so far, the youth guarantee has not lived up to its potential due to a lack of financial investment and, in certain cases, a lack of political ambition.

Today’s new research also finds that, as has happened in many member states, a re-packaging of current, failed, systems to tackle youth unemployment is not enough. A major commitment from businesses, the youth sector, civil society organisations, public employment services, local authorities as well as national and European-level decision makers is needed in order that the youth guarantee is a success and can tackle the gravely high youth unemployment rate across the continent (which currently stands at 23.5%).

The European Youth Forum is calling for:

a rigorous system of evaluation of the youth guarantee and for it to be regularly updated to correspond to changing circumstances;
closer alignment between the youth guarantee and other European-level schemes designed to tackle youth unemployment;
awareness to be raised about the meaning and value of non-formal education in youth organisations

The report includes detailed analysis of the development and implementation of the youth guarantee in XX member states, according to the Youth Forum’s member organisations in those countries. It is aimed at both youth organisations and policy-makers to outline the role of the youth sector in the design and implementation of the youth guarantee.

Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum, comments:

“Our report should act as a wake-up call from the youth sector to European and national policy makers. The youth guarantee has enormous potential and this must be seized upon in order to bring about real change for young people, who are struggling to emerge from the crisis and risk a lifetime of precarious, unfulfilling work.

“The report also highlights the inherent benefits of maximising the involvement of youth organisations in youth employment policy. It is clear that through consulting and engaging with young people, the best solutions to tackle youth unemployment will be found.”

[ENDS]

Notes to the editor:
The full report can be found here: INSERT LINK
Spokespeople from the European Youth Forum are available for interview, contact Sarah Farndale, European Youth Forum, + 32 2286 9436 sarah.farndale@youthforum.org / press@youthforum.org

About the youth guarantee:
The youth guarantee began to emerge in Finland and Scandinavia in the 1980s and early 1990s. Each scheme had national and regional variations, which took into account the specific nature of respective labour markets. Similarly, each scheme has evolved over time with each suffering from their respective limitations and weaknesses. Since 2010 the European Youth Forum, with the support of its member organisations, has lobbied intensively for the adoption of a standardised youth guarantee that would offer young people a job, training or re-training within four months of unemployment. Such a policy should lead the way towards reducing the number of young people without a job, and towards ultimately ensuring that young people are not in a grave position of social exclusion as and when growth occurs and the European economy recovers. The European Youth Forum emphasises that the youth guarantee should not be limited to some young people or to those who already have all the necessary skills. The youth guarantee should be universal and applicable to all young people of various educational and social back- grounds up until the age of 30. The European Youth Forum also highlights that the youth guarantee must include resources to reintroduce long-term unemployed young people to training, further education or new employment. It must focus on the need to connect young people to jobs that match their educational level and make sure that young people are not subject to obligatory or underpaid labour in order to retain their social benefits. The European Youth Forum’s vision of the scheme is to include all young people up to the age of 30.

About the European Youth Forum

The European Youth Forum is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. Independent, democratic, youth-led, it represents 97 National Youth Councils and international youth organisations from across the continent. The Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations towards the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. For more information, visit www.youthforum.org 

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