On Thursday 28th February, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) reached an agreement on the European Commission’s proposal for establishing a Youth Guarantee. The EPSCO Council recommended that all young Europeans under 25 are offered a quality-job, continued education, training or an apprenticeship scheme within four months of finishing their studies. The International Labour Organization estimated €21 million of investment is needed to financially support Youth Guarantee programmes. While Youth unemployment in Europe stands at 5.7 million, costing the economy €153 billion a year, the EPSCO conclusions committed to only guaranteeing financial support of up to €6 billion. This level of investment will most likely be insufficient and it will not allow the scheme to tackle many of the root causes of youth unemployment in Europe. Implementing the Youth Guarantee requires all member states to establish strong partnerships with all stakeholders, including youth support services and youth organisations to ensure early intervention and action.
EPSCO opted for a gradual approach for the implementation of this programme, which raises the question of how the youth guarantee will be implemented in the member states. The European Youth Forum has been extensively working on the Youth Guarantee for many years and will continue to calls on member states to attribute sufficient resources to the scheme on the national level.
The Youth Forum welcomes the involvement of young people and youth organisations in designing and further developing the Youth Guarantee schemes, as a positive best practice to tailor services to the real needs young people.