Young people are Europe’s biggest value and hope

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. Written by Ivan Burazin, Vice Chairman of European Democrat Students

Ivan Burazin, Vice Chairman of European Democrat Students

Ivan Burazin, Vice Chairman of European Democrat Students

Never in history there have been as many young people in the world as right now. At the same time the European Union faces the global economic crisis and the youth unemployment rates are at worrying levels. Youth unemployment rates are historically four to five times more than the adult rates in every country in the world.

Close to 75 million youth were unemployed worldwide. This is ringing the alarm to change the way of looking at the labour market. Economical crisis and lack of work places are triggering social instability and moreover, creating the atmosphere of desperation, hopelessness and depression among youngsters. Last generations of Europeans are being considered as the most educated, but the biggest issue our generation is facing right now is the graduation and ending period of our study days.

Most people say the study is the best time of our life. Finishing them often means it’s time to face the real world in which we must start creating and working more than ever. The reason for desperation and anxiety our generation is not because the party is over, but because of the blank space and the big question mark ahead of us. Ages are spent on sharpening our knowledge and developing our skills at the universities.

All that very often seems to be useless, and spent for nothing. When it comes to the question of creation of jobs and growth regarding the students and high-educated population, universities and governments have to change the way of conducting teaching programmes in order to ensure opportunities and rights for the upcoming generations of students and young people.

At EDS we see entrepreneurship as a catalyst of innovation and creation of work places that would play a significant (not the only) role in helping to improving the position of young people, especially of those high-educated ones in everyday life. Furthermore, high educated persons, which are willing to take a risk and dedicate their times completely to their profession must be motivated and helped, and not burdened and slowed. The risk takers are not just taking the risk for themself, but for the whole society, because they are creating the values and working places for all the rest.

To create the necessary entrepreneurial culture there are several important factors such as investment, risk taking, appropriate infrastructure and of course appropriate knowledge provided to students through higher education. Unfortunately, traditional models of teaching do not follow and are not in tune with the needs of the market, nor do they correlate with the development of ‘entrepreneurial thinking’. Teaching the principles and processes of how to start people’s own businesses can increase interest in entrepreneurship.

However, the majority of entrepreneurial courses are only provided under economics or business studies degrees. Moreover, there is an obvious lack of cooperation between the job market and higher education institutions, which creates a substantial gap between theory and practice, leaving the students willing to create somewhere ‘’on the road’’ without giving them proper education in order to support them in their efforts. Therefore, we believe that development of an entrepreneurial mind-set through higher education is one of the best ways to establish a knowledge-based economy, which will encourage youth employment and professional development.

We believe that removal of the barriers which obstructs the establishment of innovative businesses or any cooperation between the job market and universities, adoption of the policies which will further support and encourage the implementation of educational programmes offering entrepreneurial courses, promotion of the establishment of the incubators and start up zones linked with the universities will significantly help in creating a more entrepreneurial-friendly environment with better incentives for young, talented, hard working people.

Finally it will have significant impact in preparing young people for the job market in order to improvie their position that is all ready highly jeopardized. Of course, making changes in high education will not completely solve the issue of youth unemployment, but it will have a positive impact for sure. Also, the problem what the young people are facing as well is the question of entering the public enterprises as well, together with supporting young people of being engaged into the policy making process that are shaping our societies.

Although there are different theories of problem solving we call for measures in order to stop the development of a lost generation.

About the author

Ivan Burazin, Vice Chairman of European Democrat Students lives in Split, Croatia where he studied National Security at the Faculty of Forensic Sciences and holds a Bachelor’s degree in administrative law. As the Vice Chairman of EDS he is responsible for fundraising, social media channels and Youth Entrepreneurship project.

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