Working together for youth employment
Young workers in Europe have been facing since a long time many difficulties in accessing the labour market and in particular finding a quality and secure employment, which should allow them to start a decent and independent life. Moreover, the financial and economic crisis has worsened their employment prospects significantly. Close attention is given by policy makers in Europe to the link between youth unemployment and social exclusion and its long-term destabilizing effects on society at large. Across Europe, specific initiatives by governments or social partners have been implemented such as developing work opportunities or policies aimed at increasing young people’s employability and entry to the labour markets. However, some groups of young people are particularly disadvantaged: those who have experienced lengthy period of unemployment, young people with low levels of qualifications and educational achievement, those with health problems or disabilities, those from minority ethnic groups as well as young migrant workers. Against this background, the EU agencies under the remit of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, presented a multi-dimensional perspective of youth employment related challenges today in Europe and its neighbourhood. Agencies’ complementary research findings presentations focused on smooth transition from education to workplace, lifelong guidance for young people at risk, labour market participation of young, working conditions and safe and quality jobs for young workers, the NEETs (not in employment, education or training) phenomenon in Europe and its economic and social costs, the active inclusion of disadvantaged young and the global/international dimension of youth unemployment. These contributions set the platform for the panel discussion with EU policy makers and participants.