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The Youth Guarantee is a success story; we now must scale it up, say S&Ds


18 Jan 2018


Social Europe & Jobs

Strasbourg, 18 January 2018

The European Parliament will today vote on a report assessing the impact of the Youth Employment Initiative in the member states and giving recommendations on how to improve it for the future. The Youth Employment Initiative is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee scheme. Back in 2012, when youth unemployment was at its highest in the EU, the Socialists and Democrats successfully pushed the Commission to create the Youth Guarantee against the resistance of conservative sceptics. Since its launch in 2014, more than 10 million young Europeans have benefited from it.

The Socialists and Democrats are campaigning to make the Youth Guarantee a permanent feature of EU employment policies, and to scale it up, by calling for a continued political and financial commitment in the upcoming negotiations on the next multi-annual financial framework; by ensuring that especially those countries affected most by youth unemployment have access to funding and that those young people who need it most, namely young people who are neither in employment, education or training (NEETs), benefit most.

With their amendments, Euro S&D MPs are calling for the establishment of a European definition of good quality offers of education, training and jobs, to ensure that the Youth Guarantee will really help to integrate unemployed young people into the labour market.

Brando Benifei, S&D MEP responsible for the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative, said:

“Data show that the European Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative are success stories, bringing ten million young people into jobs and training over three years. However, much more needs to be done, especially regarding the quality of the training and employment offered to young people on programmes funded through the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative. We must develop ambitious measures to ensure that the rights of young people, such as decent working conditions, access to social protection and adequate remuneration are always respected when they participate in EU funded programmes. In the past, patchy implementation at the regional level has too often hindered the potential of the Youth Guarantee and the European Employment Initiative. It is high time that we raise the ambition to match young people’s expectations!

“I believe that the outcome of today’s vote will show if the other groups are serious about getting young people into quality jobs or are only interested in symbolic acts. The European Parliament must prove to be on the side of European youth. The S&D Group will do its part.”

Agnes Jongerius, S&D MEP and spokesperson on employment, added:

“Although youth unemployment is slowly decreasing, too many young people are still trapped in a vicious circle of unpaid traineeships, precarious work or unemployment. With over three million young Europeans still unemployed today, we must scale up the Youth Guarantee. We simply can't risk a ‘lost generation’ growing up in Europe.

"We Socialists and Democrats campaign for extending the Youth Guarantee by providing more funding, strengthening national implementation and pushing for quality offers, because we care about the future of young Europeans.”

Note to editors: 
Following a campaign by the Party of European Socialists and the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament 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 16 million young people have entered national Youth Guarantee schemes since 2014 and 10 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.