Social democratic ministers for employment and social affairs jointly asked the European Commission to come forward with a 1 billion € programme for youth employment. Nicolas Schmit, chairperson of the PES Social and Employment Ministers network and Luxembourg Minister of Labour, Employment and Migration emphasized that: “Kickstarting Youth employment must become a top priority in Europe. We cannot let an entire generation be excluded from the labour market. Everyone seems to agree with this, but not much has been done so far. We demand that the Commission quickly come forward with an ambitious and unbureaucratic programme to bring young people back into employment. The scope in the European budget is there – all that is missing is the political will.”
The ministers agreed to the proposal of the Austrian Minister for Social Affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer, to call for a “Future for youth fund“. He stated that: “Fighting youth unemployment means concrete resources. We urgently need to invest in new jobs for young people, better job placement services and the right training to prepare young people for the labour market. Starting immediately we should invest in a major programme against youth unemployment.”
Giving input into the work of the PES high level working group on youth unemployment, which will meet for the first time on 13 October, the ministers emphasized that employers take more responsibility for the future of our youth and to create new jobs for young people as well as providing the training and education needed. It was emphasized that while apprenticeships and internships can be helpful to prepare young people for the labour market, internships should not be unpaid and should not replace real jobs.
Furthermore the ministers called for a youth guarantee to be gradually introduced in all Member States: Every young person should be offered further education or additional training, an apprenticeship, a job or other employability measure within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.