Tackling Youth Unemployment in Europe: Improving Outcomes for the Young Generation

Public Policy Exchange

According to Eurostat’s latest figures, 23.296 million men and women in the EU-28 were unemployed in June 2015, out of which 4.724 million were young people (under 25). Although there has been a recent improvement in the youth unemployment rate, with a decrease of 386,000 since June 2014 in the EU-28, the issue of youth unemployment remains a profound challenge to the future of Europe: the costs of NEETs (young people not in education, employment or training) amounts to €153bn (1.21% of GDP) a year in benefits and foregone earnings and taxes, according to Eurofound.

There is a pressing need to combat youth unemployment and support targeted measures that aid young people in their transition from education to work. With a budget of €6 billion for the period 2014 - 2020, the Youth Employment Initiative aims to support NEETs in EU regions most affected by youth unemployment. Additionally, EU Member States are developing the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans to ensure that all youngsters under 25 receive a good-quality offer within four months of leaving education or becoming unemployed. Also, the Riga Conclusions on Vocational Education and Training (VET) have put forth several priorities for 2015-2020, including the endorsement of non- formal and informal learning as well as the development of skills acquired through initial and continuous VET.

With millions of young people in Europe constantly struggling to find a job, the economic recession has forced many to accept unpaid internships or become long-term unemployed – which leads to a lack of confidence, social exclusion, poorer health, depression and even suicide. Without doubt, there is a need to support high-quality internships and tackle the causes of skills mismatch and its impact on the labor market.

This International Symposium sets out to explore the current situation of young unemployed people in Europe and examine possible solutions to boost employment in the EU. Delegates will also have the opportunity to examine initiatives and innovative projects that have been implemented to tackle youth unemployment and social exclusion at both national and EU levels.

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