Parliament calls on member states to fully exploit the European Youth Guarantee

(Alexis Brown, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


With youth unemployment on the rise in the EU, MEPs want member states to take stronger action to counter the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people.

In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 574 votes to 77 and 43 abstentions, the European Parliament urges member states to ensure that young people who register for the Youth Guarantee schemes are offered “good-quality, varied and tailored jobs, training or internships”.

With the youth unemployment rate at 17.6% in the EU in August 2020 (up from 14.9% before the COVID-19 crisis) and expected to continue rising, Parliament calls for more funds to strengthen the Youth Guarantee scheme for 2021-2027.

MEPs deplore that in July the European Council significantly reduced, from 15 to 10%, ESF+ resources under shared management earmarked to support action to boost youth employment, which is “contradictory to the Union’s ambition to invest in young people”.

Ban unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships

Parliament condemns the practice of unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships, which exploit young people’s work and violate their rights. It calls on the Commission to table a legal framework for an effective and enforceable ban on these practices.

Tackling discrimination to ensure no one is left behind

MEPs stress that the Youth Guarantee should be embedded in a coherent set of social and welfare policies to ensure that the various subgroups of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) have access to it. “Any discrimination experienced by young people on any grounds must be actively combatted in Youth Guarantee schemes”, they say.

Binding instrument

MEPs deplore the voluntary nature of the Youth Guarantee (currently a Council recommendation) and call on the Commission to propose a Youth Guarantee instrument that is binding for all member states.

Background

Since 2013, the Youth Guarantee has helped 24 million young people to get training, education or work. In July 2020, the Commission proposed to extend its coverage to include youngsters under 30, helping even more people to make the green and digital transitions.

Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee contributes significantly to the ongoing implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

In July 2020, Parliament endorsed an overall allocation of €145 million for the Youth Employment Initiative that supports young people who live in regions where the youth unemployment rate is above 25%.

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