Ask EP By / October 6, 2015

EU measures to promote youth employment

Citizens recurrently turn to the Parliament with comments on youth unemployment in Europe, and request for more actions to help…

© michniewiczfoto / Fotolia
Youth unemployment in Europe
© michniewiczfoto / Fotolia

Citizens recurrently turn to the Parliament with comments on youth unemployment in Europe, and request for more actions to help young people to find a job.

Tackling youth unemployment in Europe is a top priority for the European Parliament. Parliament is fully aware that youth unemployment has a profound impact on individuals as well as on society and the economy.

The European Union has launched some priority measures:

  • the Youth Employment Initiative, which reinforces actions already indicated in the Youth Employment Package;
  • a proposal to EU Member States to establish ‘youth guarantee’ schemes;
  • quality traineeships and apprenticeships, focusing on a better transition from school to work;
  • Youth on the Move dedicated to mobility of young people in Europe.

Youth Employment Initiative (YEI)

The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) was created in February 2013 to combat youth unemployment, especially in EU regions with youth unemployment rates above 25%.

With a budget of €6.4 billion (half from a dedicated budget line and at least half more from the European Social Fund) the YEI is intended to support in particular young people not in education, employment or training.

In spring 2015, the EU institutions agreed to increase the Youth Employment Initiative pre-financing rate in its 2015 budget allocation from 1-1.5% to up to 30%.

More information on the corresponding Regulation (EU) 2015/779 of 20 May 2015 is available in the press release about the European Parliament’s resolution ‘€1 billion for Youth Employment Initiative in 2015’.

Youth Guarantee

Parliament has pushed for and adopted several measures to fight youth unemployment in Europe. For example, it has insisted for years that Member States adopt ‘youth guarantees’ that would put every young person in a job or professional training within four months after ending their education.

In September 2013, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) assessed the effectiveness of the EU Youth Strategy (including youth employment) and called for further measures to make it easier for young people to move to jobs or training, and for EU support and quality standards for traineeships and apprenticeships.

In July 2014, the Parliament called for action to improve the Youth Guarantee: efficient monitoring of its implementation, introducing standards, including people of less than 30 years of age, full implementation of plans in each Member State.

Quality traineeships and apprenticeships

As indicated in its resolution on promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training, adopted on 8 September 2015, the European Parliament ‘calls on the Member States to promote entrepreneurial skills for young people through legislative action aimed at ensuring quality traineeships focusing on quality learning and adequate working conditions as tools to foster employability, as put forward by the Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships.’ Further information is also available on the Guidebook ‘Apprenticeship and Traineeship Schemes in EU27: Key Success Factors‘.

Youth on the Move

Youth on the Move is a comprehensive package of policy initiatives which aims to improve young people’s education and employability and to increase the youth-employment rate, with specific actions as for example the ‘Your first EURES job‘. More details are available on the ‘Education and Vocational training’ fact sheet and on the dedicated EC webpage.

Further information

The European Parliament Research Service has published several documents on youth employment, which are available on the EP ThinkTank webpage dedicated to youth employment.

The European Commission’s overview of EU measures to tackle youth unemployment and the webpage by the European Council about this subject might also be of interest.


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