EU guarantees jobs for young people

Young unemployed people have been guaranteed a new job, training or education in a new commitment laid down by EU ministers last week.

EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso said it will give people who are out of work for more than four months better opportunities.

“Too many young Europeans are asking if they will ever find a job or have the same quality of life as their parents,” he said. “They need answers from us. That is why, for the past two years, the European Commission pushed the urgent need to tackle youth unemployment to the top of Europe’s political agenda.”

With this new commitment, further education, apprenticeships, training and jobs will be offered to young people who are out of work for more than four months after leaving education or having been made redundant.

EU Ministers agreed to back the commitment and Mr Barroso urged all EU member states to enforce the initiative very quickly.

European Commissioner for Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said the EU would help put the Youth Guarantee into place in all member states. However, he warned states would have to be willing and able to invest their own money to avoid more costs in the future.

Six billion euro has been put aside in the EU budget to tackle  the issue of unemployment in countries with a rate of 25% or thereabouts.

All EU members have been asked to develop strong partnerships with schools, universities, employment services and training providers to secure early action.

Last Thursday during talks in Dublin with Enda Kenny, Mr Barroso said it was a sad reality that there are high numbers of unemployment and skill shortages in the EU.

He also warned that a shortage of information and communication technology professionals could reach 700,000 by 2015 if young people are not trained to take up the positions.

Gill Fitzsimons

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