Speaking today at the launch of the CSR Europe-initiated « Pact for Youth », European Youth Fourm President Johanna Nyman demanded that business and politicians engage in genuine, regular and open consultation with young people on solving the genuine issues highlighted by the Pact.
The Pact for Youth is “a mutual engagement” between business and the European Union leaders “to develop or consolidate partnerships in support of youth employability and inclusion”.
With the backdrop of 5 million young unemployed and further 7 million young not in education, employment or training in Europe, the Youth Forum believes that it is essential to work together to urgently address key issues such as the education to work transition and the skills mismatch – by building on initiatives that support an environment which enables young people.
However, the Youth Forum has expressed its concern at the lack of youth involvement in how the Pact came about. The European Youth Forum was given neither the time nor the opportunity to input in any meaningful way to the Pact itself, the development of which has been in general non-participatory. Therefore it has informed CSR Europe that it will not be a supporting organisation to the pact until key changes are met. These include:
– Youth organisations to be consulted on structure and implementation of the Pact;
– The Pact must not reduce education to achieving labour market goals and must acknowledge the value of Non-Formal Education;
– Social partners and youth organisations to be included in business-education partnerships;
– Internship and apprenticeship opportunities must be of good quality.
The European Commission, as a partner of the Pact must ensure that it is integrated into already existing initiatives for youth from the EU level. Measures such as the Youth Guarantee also rely heavily on proper involvement of all stakeholders, with youth organisations key to ensuring the effective implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
European Youth Forum President Johanna Nyman, said:
“We welcome initiatives such as the Pact for Youth – Europe’s young people need engagement from all sectors of society. Our support, however, will be conditional upon how seriously youth participation and priorities are integrated into the Pact itself. We believe these key changes will ensure a Pact for Youth that works for young people, society and business alike.”