Brussels, 16/05/2012

The youth unemployment rate is twice as high as the average. For two thirds of young Europeans, ‘employment’ equals fixed-term contracts, part-time employment imposed rather than chosen, temping, seasonal or undeclared work.

The general rise of job insecurity in Europe affects young people in particular, who are often considered as labour that is available at a pittance.

Against this background, many young people joining the labour market remain in traineeship for periods that can last for several years. All too often, they have neither a clear status nor any entitlement to social protection and earn far less than the minimum wage. In other words, they provide a service equivalent to that of an employee but without any of the latter’s benefits.

This situation is unacceptable!

ETUC therefore reiterates its commitment to a European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships.

Onboard from the outset, ETUC has renewed its support for the “Yo Fest” initiative to promote this charter.

Patrick Itschert, ETUC deputy general secretary stated: “Public officials and the social partners must address concretely the situation of young people who are unemployed and in a precarious position, including internships. It is vital to look on youth not as part of the problem but as part of the solution to European integration.”

Youth and employment