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Young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS) [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS).

Many Europeans aged between 15 and 24 years are likely to have experienced difficulties in finding a job and becoming independent, largely due to the 2008 economic and financial crisis. In 2015, 12 % of young Europeans (6.6 million individuals) were not in work, education or training – a social phenomenon known as the NEETs (young people who are ‘not in education, employment or training’).

failed businessman sitting near a homeless looking for work - caucasian people - business, economy, people and lifestyle

© Kar Tr / Fotolia

In response to the poor outlook for young people, all EU countries committed to implement a Youth Guarantee in April 2013. The Guarantee promises a good quality offer of employment, further education, an apprenticeship or traineeship to all young people under the age of 25 years, within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. To help European countries to fulfil this commitment, the EU is spending €6.4 billion on the Youth Employment Initiative (2014-2020), with an extra €1.2 billion in 2017.

Up to now, much effort has been made to reintegrate young people in short term unemployment. European countries also frequently focus on helping young people with disabilities or illnesses. Other strategies that foster equality between young Europeans and boosting female employability include assisting young people who are NEET due to family responsibilities, enhancing young people’s skill sets (basic or digital skills, entrepreneurship), and matching their skills to job market needs.

Further information

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