"Youth guarantee" schemes to ensure that no young person in the EU goes without a job, education or training for more than four months won strong support in Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs voted a resolution calling on EU employment ministers to agree in February 2013 to a Council recommendation that all member states introduce these schemes.
"We aim not to force job creation but to put in place an instrument to give young people a chance and avoid a lost generation", said Employment Committee Chair Pervenche Berès (S&D, France) in the debate on Monday evening.
Youth guarantee schemes aim to ensure that all young EU citizens, legal residents up to 25 years old and recent graduates under 30 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed, underlines the resolution.
The resolution was adopted with 546 votes in favour, 96 against and 28 abstentions.
Introducing the youth guarantee in all Member States
Parliament has already called twice for such schemes and strongly supports the European Commission proposal for a Council recommendation to introduce these schemes in all member states.
Youth Guarantee schemes should be eligible for EU funding, in particular from the European Social Fund, which should therefore be allocated at least 25% of EU cohesion policy funds, say MEPs.
Parliament also calls on the Commission to help those member states that are in dire financial straits to introduce the schemes.
EU youth unemployment averaged 23.7% in November 2012. It exceeded 15% in all but four countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark), 30% in Portugal, Italy, Slovakia and Latvia, and 50% in Greece and Spain. The UK rate was 20.2 and Ireland's 29.7.