Last Wednesday, 17th of April, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) agreed to a recommendation (7123/13) establishing "youth guarantee" schemes. The recommendation will be formally adopted by the Council at a later stage. Although not a legally binding act, the recommendation reflects a strong political commitment by the member states. It aims to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 who lose their job or do not find work after leaving education quickly receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship. They should receive such an offer within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. The "youth guarantee" is intended to provide for a smooth transition between school and work, support labour market integration and make sure that no young person is left out. This measure comes in response to the worsening youth employment situation across Europe, with an increasing number of young people who are not in employment, education or training. The investment required for such guarantee schemes should be set against the high social and economic costs which wide-spread youth unemployment would entail in the longer term.
Rev. Richard Fischer