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Skills to fight youth unemployment


01 Mar 2012


Social Europe & Jobs

Today the European Union released the latest unemployment figures. They show that youth unemployment rates are still unacceptably high. Working in the field of entrepreneurship, employability and financial literacy, Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Europe believes that developing the right skills at an early age is the best long-term solution to youth unemployment.

Statement from Caroline Jenner, CEO Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Europe:

Current youth unemployment rates are unsustainable and untenable. While actions need to be taken in the short-term, our focus must be on finding long-term solutions.

We rely too much on teaching methods that were developed during the Industrial Revolution. Students are not widgets: they are going to enter a highly challenging and competitive labour market that will demand innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. 

One of the lowest-cost, highest return investments we can make is to close the gap that exists between the business world and education well before young people leave the classroom.

Those governments which have invested in early stage entrepreneurship education and apprenticeships are reaping the benefits today. Those that did not are seeing youth unemployment soar.

We bring the business community in direct contact with students in school to give young people access to their experience and expertise.

Entrepreneurship education provides students with transversal skills that can be used in any job. It generates huge economic returns by increasing the number of new businesses, increasing employability and reducing social costs later on.

The European Commission is committed to entrepreneurship education because it knows the impact it has. Yet millions of young people in Europe still have no access. 

Participants in entrepreneurship education are four to five times more likely to start a business and become net contributors to society.

Facts and figures

Impact of entrepreneurship education

JA-YE Europe alumni, on average:

- Start 64,000 new businesses a year

- Are more employable

- Earn a third more than their peers

- Are more passionate and motivated in their careers 

Organisational facts and figures

Over 3 million students this school year

- 120,000 teachers

- 140,000 business volunteers

- 36 European countries

- JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission as ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’  


For more information, please contact:

Christopher Flores

Head of Media and Communications



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