Youth Employment in the European Union

Young people in the European Union (EU) are still bearing the brunt of the crisis. Unemployment among young Europeans remains high and well above that of adults, employment quality is deteriorating, transitions from school to work are longer and more insecure, discouragement and labour market detachment are still high.

In the face of this unprecedented youth employment crisis, the representatives of governments, employers’ organizations and trade unions adopted in June 2012, the International Labour Conference's resolution “The youth employment crisis: A call for action." This resolution underlines the urgency for immediate and targeted action and contains a comprehensive set of policy measures to help shaping national policies for youth employment. Youth guarantee schemes are part of the set of policy measures that together with employment and economic policies, and rights for young people, are instrumental to improve both the quantity and quality of youth employment.

The countries of the European Union responded to the urgent need to address the youth employment crisis by introducing the Youth Guarantee. The Recommendation on “Establishing a Youth Guarantee” adopted by the Council of the European Union in April 2013 calls upon EU countries to give every young 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. In order to achieve these objectives, national funds are matched with the resources of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

The ILO and the European Commission (EC) have joined forces and have established an Action that supports EU countries in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and of Quality Apprenticeships