EU Youth Guarantee is a success – it should be scaled up!
S&D Euro MPs welcomed the Commission's progress report today on the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in the last three years. Finding a job remains a difficult challenge for young people in many parts of Europe. That's why the Socialists and Democrats are calling for an increase in funding - significantly above the €1 billion proposed by the Commission - for the Youth Employment Initiative until 2020.
Maria João Rodrigues MEP, vice-president of the S&D Group for economic and social policies, said:
"The Youth Guarantee is a great example of how Europe makes a concrete, positive difference to people's lives. It's a policy which we, the Socialists & Democrats, pushed the Commission for back in 2012 and which we defended against conservative sceptics who only advocated symbolic measures.
"Despite progress, much more needs to be done if we want the Youth Guarantee to have a serious impact in the coming years. The need for funding is massive.
"Europe still has 6.8 million people aged 15-24 who are neither in employment, education or training (NEETs) and this number rises to 13.2 million if we also count those aged 25-29. The Youth Guarantee has achieved good results, but with the limited funding available it has only reached some 40% of the young people it targeted.
"The Youth Employment Initiative should be extended until 2020 with at least €3 billion per year in dedicated financing plus €3 billion from the European Social Fund per year. If Europe wants to give all young people a real chance, the Commission and Council should make the necessary funding available!"
S&D Group spokesperson for employment and social affairs, Jutta Steinruck MEP added:
"Despite a small decline, the overall youth unemployment rate in Europe still remains at an unacceptably high level. In August 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 18.6% in the EU28 which means that 4.199 million young people (under 25) were unemployed.
"Tackling youth unemployment remains a top priority if Europe does not want to risk losing an entire generation. There is no way around further strengthening the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative with more money in order to support its implementation in the member states."
S&D Group spokesperson for this issue, Brando Benifei MEP stressed:
"The European Commission has today certified - with figures and detailed analysis - the ability of the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative to help young people in the EU. The report now needs to be read through carefully, beyond just the quantitative data. Much more needs to be done, especially regarding the quality of the training and employment offered to young people on Youth Guarantee programmes. The European Parliament will put forward its assessment and proposals soon to strengthen the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative in the years to come."
Note to editors:
Following a campaign by the Party of European Socialists (www.youth-guarantee.eu) and a proposal spearheaded by socialist EU commissioner László Andor, the EU Youth Guarantee was established through a Council recommendation adopted in April 2013. More than 14 million young people have entered national Youth Guarantee schemes since 2014 and 9 million of them have taken up an offer of employment, training, internship or apprenticeship. The Youth Guarantee scheme aims to ensure that every young person under 25 receives a good-quality offer of a job, training, internship or apprenticeship within four months of registering with a job centre. The Youth Guarantee has helped to reduce youth unemployment and the number of young people neither in employment, education or training (NEETs) across Europe. Its implementation has been supported with funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and also from the Youth Employment Initiative (€3.2 billion per year) in 2014-15. In its mid-term review of the 2014-20 multi-annual financial framework, the Commission has proposed allocating an additional €1 billion to the Youth Employment Initiative for the four years 2017-20, ie €250 million per year.