Despite its shortcomings, we need to renew and strengthen the Youth Guarantee, says S&D MEP Brando Benifei
S&D Euro MPs called on the European Commission to renew and strengthen the Youth Guarantee, during a debate in Strasbourg today. Launched in 2013, the Youth Guarantee aimed to provide young people under 25 with a job offer, training or an apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.
S&D Group spokesperson on this issue, Brando Benifei MEP said:
"Youth unemployment remains a threat to our social cohesion. Two and a half years have gone by since the launch of the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative. The Parliament is now calling on the Commission to assess its impact in tackling the problem and for a renewed commitment to extending the financing for it in the coming years, in view of the revision of the multi-annual financial framework.
"However, certain shortcomings in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee need to be addressed if we want to maximise its impact: in particular, more attention needs to be paid to improving the quality of offers, simplifying bureaucratic procedures, better training and more investment in employment services, increasing communication about the programme to widen its reach, and more involvement of youth movements and stakeholders."
Youth unemployment is decreasing slowly in Europe, but there is still a long way to go. According to Eurostat’s recent data, in May 2016 4,197 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2,885 million were within the euro area. Compared with May 2015, this means youth unemployment decreased by 503,000 in the EU28 and by 270,000 in the euro area. In May 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 18.6% in the EU28 and 20.7% in the euro area, compared with 20.6% and 22.4% respectively in May 2015.
Youth unemployment is highest in Greece (50.4% in March 2016), Spain (43.9%), Italy (36.9%) and Croatia (31.4%) in the first quarter of 2016.