PES backs Commissioner Nicolas Schmit’s priority on youth employment

22/06/2020

Sergei Stanishev, Helena Dalli and Nicolas Schmit

PES President Sergei Stanishev (left) speaks with Commissioners Helena Dalli and Nicolas Schmit at a PES Commissioners meeting, September 2019

Commissioner Schmit’s push to ensure youth employment is a priority for the EU’s recovery strategy is timely and highly necessary, PES President Sergei Stanishev said today. Since the onset of this pandemic, the PES has ramped up its calls for the EU to extend and strengthen the policies socialists and democrats introduced after the last crisis.

The COVID19 outbreak has already had a strong socio-economic impact. Despite mitigating measures taken in Member States, it has triggered a strong rise in unemployment and its impact is likely to be long lasting. The situation for young people is particularly worrying. To prevent a repetition of the 2010s youth unemployment crisis, the EU must act quickly.

Since the beginning of the crisis, Socialists and democrats have called for youth employment to be a central element of the EU recovery.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“We are observing today similar challenges to those that made us propose and set-up the Youth Guarantee after the 2008 crisis. I fully share Commissioner Schmit’s analysis that the Youth Guarantee is a good instrument to meet these challenges, one that supports Member States to find effective measures to help young people quickly and pushes them to act. I welcome his intention to present an updated European Youth Guarantee as part of the EU recovery.

“The Youth Guarantee has already helped millions of young Europeans to get a quality job, traineeship, or further education - we must extend it. Quality offers must be made further available to young people above 25 years old and they must reach the more vulnerable, including young migrants. This calls on the EU to ensure the Youth Guarantee will be properly funded as part of React-EU.

“We cannot afford to let COVID19 rob a generation of education and training opportunities, young Europeans must be empowered and given the skills and opportunities to shape our future.”

Introduced in 2013 by PES commissioner László Andor, and with the strong backing of the socialist family, the ‘Youth Guarantee’ is a scheme which provides young people with 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. From 2014 to 2020, these schemes, often implemented by public employment services in Member States, received 9bn EUR of European financial support through the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund. Since 2013, the PES has repeatedly called for the Youth Guarantee to become a permanent feature of EU employment policies, available to support all young people on their way to quality employment.

The International Labour Organization has already stressed that for young people COVID19 has disrupted education and training, reduced employment opportunities and potential future earnings; collapsed businesses and start-ups, further reducing earnings and employment; and created greater obstacles to finding work, (re-)entering the labour market and trying to transition to better jobs.