Solidarity Corps yes, cheap labour no

The European Trade Union Confederation and its Youth Committee warned EU leaders meeting today in Brussels that the proposed European Solidarity Corps – on the agenda for today’s summit - should not divert funds or focus away from tackling youth unemployment.

The European Solidarity Corps could be a good thing if it’s really supports volunteering and not cheap labour” said Thiébaut Weber, Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation. “It should not be paid for by money allocated for the Youth Employment Initiative or apprenticeships”.

Unless sorted the European Solidarity Corps could end up a real mess and risks being strongly opposed by trade unions” said Tom Vrijens, President of ETUC Youth Committee. “The current proposal seems to put volunteering, traineeships and apprenticeships all in the same pot. Volunteering is not the same as training for a job, and is no substitute for a paid job. It should not take money from youth employment funds, but rather be financed by the fund that pays for the existing European Solidarity Fund​ and eventually by fresh money.