ETUC research shows EU must do more to tackle youth unemployment

The EU’s Youth Guarantee has not done enough to help young people into work in Europe, states a new report from the European Trade Union Confederation.

ETUC Youth have assessed progress since the Youth Guarantee was launched in 2013, and call for higher investment and more commitment from employers and national governments.

The ETUC has always supported the Youth Guarantee – providing guidance towards a job or training within four months of leaving education or being unemployed – but results so far are disappointing,” said Tom Vrijens, president of ETUC Youth. Despite some progress, the jobless rate among young people remains at 19% across the EU, and up to 50% in individual countries.

Focusing on the quality of work, the report shows too many young people in precarious and low-paid jobs or internships with little prospect of career development.

Despite their willingness to take part in the initiative, trade unions have not been properly involved in designing, implementing and monitoring the Youth Guarantee, even though such partnership is known to be key to the scheme’s success.

The proportion of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) has hardly moved. Young women and vulnerable groups like migrants and refugees need individual, tailored support.

The ETUC calls for:

  • The EU and Member States to define quality criteria for jobs and training, and further support national public employment services in implementing the Youth Guarantee;
  • Social partners, civil society and young people to be more closely involved in the design, running and monitoring of YG measures;
  • Greater long-term funding. The International Labour Organization estimates €21bn per year is needed. The Commission is offering only €2bn from now to 2020.

There is no 'magic formula' for integrating young people into the labour market overnight,” said Thiébaut Weber, ETUC Confederal Secretary, “The YG alone cannot solve the whole problem of youth unemployment in Europe. But with the objective of guaranteeing every young European the right to guidance when becoming unemployed or entering the labour market, the EU should play its part in fighting unemployment. This requires time, commitment and genuine investment in Europe’s future: exactly what the Youth Guarantee needs too.”


ETUC Report: Three Years of Youth Guarantee: What next?

Thiébaut Weber: Youth Guarantee: Europe needs more investment in its young people in Social Europe: