Brussels wants to allocate at least 22 billion euros to support youth employment

The European Commission proposed this Wednesday a package to support youth employment, amounting to at least 22 billion euros, to “help the next generation of Europeans” to overcome difficulties in accessing the labor market.

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Pointing out that the covid-19 pandemic “came to highlight how difficult it is for many young people to enter the labor market” and warning of the increase in youth unemployment due to the coronavirus, the community executive indicates that his proposals for Recovery Fund and the EU's multi-annual budget for 2021-2027 "already provide significant funding opportunities for youth employment", but proposes to go even further, through the package presented today.

This package, points out Brussels, is articulated around four aspects that, together, represent “a bridge to employment” of the next generation: a reinforcement of the “Youth Guarantee” initiative, the modernization of vocational education and training systems, a new impetus to apprenticeship programs, and incentives to start up new businesses in the short term and, in the medium term, to capacity building, networks of young entrepreneurs and inter-company training centers.

Regarding the “Youth Guarantee”, an initiative created in 2012 that, according to Commission data, “built bridges to the labor market for around 24 million young people”, Brussels proposes to extend the scope of this instrument “to vulnerable young people across the EU , now covering people aged between 15 and 29 ”.

This Commission proposal comes in the context of a further increase in youth unemployment, caused by the covid-19 pandemic, which Brussels fears is "massive".

“In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, youth unemployment increased from 16% in 2008 to a record level of 24,4% in 2013. These figures have since fallen, and would reach historic lows of 14,9% even before the pandemic […] The latest data show that, in April 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 15,4% across the EU. Many fear that we are on the verge of a massive increase ”, assumes the Commission.

“Today, more than ever, it is important that we help the next generation of Europeans to prosper and progress in their professional careers, especially in these times of crisis. We are proposing clear and specific ways for our young people to obtain the professional opportunities they deserve ”, commented Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

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