The Youth Guarantee, and the Youth Unemployment Initiative that supports it, are two initiatives the EU put in place to help young adults into work, training or apprenticeships. Set up three years ago, the programmes, which are aimed at fighting youth unemployment in Europe, have helped millions of young people. But although the results are looking good, the European Commission is clear there is no place for complacency.
The Commission is investing to build on these encouraging trends by adding an extra €2 billion to continue rolling out the Youth Guarantee and support an additional 1 million young people by 2020.
A political commitment that was taken by all EU Member States in April 2013, the Youth Guarantee aims to give every person under the age of 25 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.
Tweeting at the end of September, the Commissioner for Employment Marianne Thyssen said efforts to decrease #unemployment must be maintained. ‘The Youth Guarantee has made a difference in the lives of more than 9 million young people. With continued political commitment, we will reap the benefits of the work carried out so far and have the results we are all striving for.’
Since 2013 youth unemployment has dropped from a peak of 24.4 % to 18.9 % in 2016 and the share of 15-24 year olds not in work, education or training known as NEETS) has fallen from 13.2% in 2012 to 12.0% in 2016.
The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is the main EU funding programme to facilitate the roll-out of the Youth Guarantee. It focuses on regions where youth unemployment is higher than 25% in particular. €6.4 billion has provided direct support to over 1.4 million young NEETs living in those regions most in need.
Since 2013 there are 1.4 million less young unemployed people in the EU and 900 000 fewer NEETS. 14 million young people registered with the schemes and 9 million took up an offer of employment, education, traineeship or apprenticeship.
Check out what Tina from Slovenia, Aristea from Greece, Nikolay from Bulgaria and Elvis from Lithuania have to say about how the Youth Guarantee and the YEI has given them a step up into work or training.