PES welcomes adoption of the expanded Youth Guarantee

02/11/2020 - Progressive policy will now help more young people thanks to Commissioner Nicolas Schmit

2017 PES Youth Action Day

File photo: Youth Action Day in 2017 when the PES organised events with more than 10,000 people in 30 European countries (EU and beyond), calling for the extension and reinforcement of the European Youth Guarantee

The revision and extension of the European Youth Guarantee is a vital first step to tackling the emerging youth unemployment crisis, the PES said today as it welcomed the relaunched initiative to help young people access the labour market.

The Council has formally adopted the recommendation on A Bridge to Jobs - Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee. This renews Member States’ commitment to tackling long-term youth unemployment by guaranteeing all young people an offer of employment, continued education, a traineeship or an apprenticeship within four months of finishing their course or losing their job.

The new Youth Guarantee, put forward in July by socialist Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, extends this right to young people up to the age of 29 and places greater focus on reaching out to marginalised groups. These include young people living in rural areas, those with disabilities or who are from a migration background, and those who have faced prolonged exclusion from the labour market.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic is hitting young people especially hard as they are the first to suffer from redundancies and hiring freezes. Without urgent action to support their entry into the labour market we risk creating another lost generation. That is why socialists and democrats are leading the efforts to make sure that support is ready and in place.”

Minister for Employment, Solidarity, and Social Security of Portugal and Chair of the PES EPSCO Ministers Network, Ana Mendes Godinho, said:

“I strongly commend my predecessor as chair of the PES EPSCO Ministers, Commissioner Schmit, for his timely proposal to renew and extend the Youth Guarantee. The rapid finalisation of this file would not have been possible without our friends in the German Presidency of the Council, notably Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil, so I also congratulate them for achieving an agreement so quickly.

“It is now up to us ministers to continue the good work and strengthen the initiatives we already have in place to support our young people. In this difficult context, reaching out to those who are marginalised is more important than ever before.”

German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, added:

“Putting workers at the heart of the recovery has been a priority of our Presidency from day one, and I am glad that colleagues have shared this sense of urgency. The renewed Youth Guarantee is a clear statement of our commitment to providing opportunities for the next generation.”

PES Youth Action Day

File photo: Activists campaigning on a PES Youth Action Day in 2017

The Youth Guarantee was first put forward by our socialist and democratic political family as a response to the last crisis. Following a campaign by the PES, a proposal was made by socialist Commissioner László Andor which was adopted by Member States in 2013. Since then it has reached 24 million young people.

The new Youth Guarantee is one of the three components of the Youth Employment Support (YES) package, Commissioner Schmit’s comprehensive plan to help young people into work. It also aims to future-proof vocational education and training by focussing on green and digital skills, as well as improve the quality and availability of apprenticeships.