Youth Guarantee Scheme

Employment prospects for young people in the EU are bleak. One in five under 25's who are looking for work cannot find a job. 7.5 million of young people aged 15-24 are neither working, nor in education or training.

To respond to this situation, the European Commission has proposed a Youth Opportunities Initiative to be undertaken across various axes in partnership with all EU countries. One of the axes is the so called Youth Guarantees Scheme to ensure that no young person in the EU goes without a job, education or training for more than four months. In regards to funding, the European Commission has foreseen an increased use of the European Social Fund for the purpose and €4 million to help EU countries implement the scheme. Futhermore, the Commission will set up a European Alliance for Apprenticeships to improve the quality and supply of apprenticeships available by spreading successful apprenticeship schemes across the Member States.

The Youth Guarantee Scheme won strong support in Parliament on Wednesday 16 January. MEPs voted in favour of a resolution calling on EU employment ministers to agree in February 2013 to a Council recommendation that all member states introduce these schemes.

"We aim not to force job creation but to put in place an instrument to give young people a chance and avoid a lost generation," said French Social Democrat MEP Pervenche Berès, chair of the employment committee. Youth guarantee schemes aim to ensure that all EU citizens of up to 25 years old and recent graduates under 30 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed, underlines the resolution.

Other EU level actions within the Youth Opportunities Initiative include:

  1. European quality framework on traineeships – the Commission will establish a framework for high-quality traineeships to improve information on what opportunities are available throughout the EU, how to get them and what they offer to trainees.
  2. Your First Eures Job – at least 5000 young people will benefit from this initiative, to help them find a job in another EU country.
  3. Erasmus & Leonardo da Vinci – 130,000 company placements in 2012 in other EU countries for university-level and vocational students
  4. Erasmus for Entrepreneurs – 600 placements for young entrepreneurs in small businesses in other EU countries
  5. European Voluntary Service – 10,000 volunteering opportunities across all EU countries

Further information is available on the European Commission website.