Young people are an asset in times of crisis, help them enter the world of work!
At an event on youth employment organized by AER at the College of Europe in Natolin, Warsaw (PL), 100 participants welcomed the fact that the issue of Youth Employment had been recognised as a top priority by all EU Heads of States and Governments, which granted a new amount of 6 billion € for the Youth Opportunities Initiative. We agree with the Council when it states that ‘the EU budget should be mobilised in support of job creation for young people’ and encourage the Council to keep its promises to adopt soon the new recommendations on the set up of Youth guarantee schemes. Actions taken towards the adoption of such schemes should highlight in particular: mobility and education to entrepreneurship.
Ms. Michèle SABBAN, AER President, stressed that “in the absence of results towards Youth employability, no further action can be efficient. In the same way, without active youth, no social policy is possible.” She underlined that the AER Eurodyssey programme, created in 1985, already provides each year 600 young people looking for a job with an internship abroad. “42 European regions of 14 countries currently take part in this programme and I personally invite all other regions concerned with the future of their Youth to join our network”, she added.
The Polish Secretary of State for regional development presented a convincing example, when indicating that from now on, 75% of the European Social Funds (ESF) will go to the regions in order to set up policies supporting youth employment! By establishing the bridge between Member States and their citizens, Regions can bring the necessary support to their youth and have a major role within the settling up of Youth Guarantee Schemes that reflect their actual needs.
The current maximum age to be considered to be eligible to the young person category (18-25) was also discussed, since a number of participants underlined that the age bracket should be extended to include those between 25 to 30 years of age, given that studies can sometimes take longer. This was said without hiding the unemployment problem that young people, with lack of qualification, are facing. Education levels are different; cultural and structural diversities also exist in Europe but young people form a whole that must be considered in its entirety.