Joint Statement by ETUC Youth Committee, Eurocities, Solidar, European Youth Forum, Age Platform Europe, EASPD, FEANTSA, European Disability Forum and COFACE
On 22 April 2013, EU Member States committed to establishing Youth Guarantee schemes to provide young people with a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. 6,4 billion euros have been allocated for 2014 and 2015 through the Youth Employment Initiative to support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
Since then, the national implementation of the Youth Guarantee has become a driver for improving education-to-work transition. However, youth unemployment is still high and overall, the number of NEETs continues to rise.
The European Union cannot afford the cost of a sacrificed generation. Youth unemployment is still a very pressing issue that cannot be ignored and must remain a full priority. As a result, we support the efforts of the European Parliament’s Youth Intergroup to ensure this, and fully welcome the discussion on the Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative in the European Parliament on July 4th.
When endorsing the Youth Guarantee in 2013, the Commission referred to the Youth Guarantee as a “forward-looking and fundamental structural reform in the mid and long-term”. For this to be a reality, continued investment in the Youth Guarantee through extending the Youth Employment Initiative, is essential. Substantial funding, as well as simplifying access to YEI and ESF is needed to ensure quality offers and real long-term impact of the Youth Guarantee schemes.
Building partnerships, succeeding in changing mentalities and achieving structural reforms take time. We, as a coalition of civil society, youth organisations, social partners and European cities, call the European Commission and the European Parliament to guarantee the necessary investment to support the efforts that have been undertaken across Europe to implement the Youth Guarantee - and to ultimately ensure young people’s right to a quality job.