POLICY PAPER ON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

While entrepreneurship education is and should continue to be supported as a pivotal. 33 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/lsa/119628.pdf. 34 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, (2009), Self-employed workers industrial relations and working ...
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POLICY PAPER ON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

ADOPTED AT THE COUNCIL OF MEMBERS BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 19-20 APRIL

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COMEM/GA 0166-13-FINAL

Executive summary The youth unemployment crisis has had a profound effect on young people and the societies in which they live. Youth unemployment is a global issue that threatens to undermine the very fabric of our society. More than 75 million young people are unemployed internationally and in Europe close to one in four young people are out of work. As a result of growing youth unemployment, young people are experiencing increased levels of poverty and social exclusion, and there is a widening economic gap between older and younger generations. In this Policy Paper, which is an update of the 2008 Policy Paper on Youth Employment, the Youth Forum identifies the main causes of youth unemployment, including: inequalities on the labour market, a lack of provision of services to young people, and the privatisation of education. It also addresses the need to eradicate discrimination against young people. Through this Policy Paper the Youth Forum is proposing a set of actions, based on the principles of youth-rights and equality, to tackle youth unemployment head-on and reverse a trend that is threatening the very stability and future of Europe. Introduction Quality-employment is a crucial element with regards to the autonomy and wellbeing of young people in Europe and throughout the world. The right to decent work and protection against unemployment are fundamental human rights.1 Being able to find quality-work is essential for young people in order to participate fully in society, ensure autonomy and to avoid the pitfalls of poverty and social exclusion. The position of the Youth Forum is clear: young people in Europe have the right to quality and stable employment. Young people have not been adequately provided for and despite being more educated and driven than previous generations, they face structural hurdles in accessing the labour market. Over the past 5 years the European Youth Forum and its Member Organisations have been increasingly focusing on the issue of employment, not only because of the way in which young people have been adversely affected by the global economic crisis, but also due to the profound way in which unemployment can impact on different aspects of a young person's life. The European Youth Forum and its Member Organisations have been contributing to measures at a European and national level which aim to combat youth unemployment through further education, quality internships and job opportunities. In Europe youth unemployment has been consistently higher than that of the older population since 1945, but since 2008 it has been increasing at a particularly alarming rate. Today we face a situation where almost 1 in 4 young people in the EU are out of work 1 See Youth Forum Policy Paper on Youth Rights (0527-12) 2

COMEM/GA 0166-13-FINAL

and in some regions of Europe the youth unemployment rate is well in excess of 50%.2 The causes and effects of youth unemployment are multi-faceted but the common trend for young people is that the global labour market is less accessible and more volatile than before. Although there has been increased attention given to the issue of youth unemployment and the disadvantages and discrimination that young people face on the labour market in recent years by European3 and international organisations, many policy responses to date have been uncoordinated, haphazard and insufficient. Efforts by some public actors and decision-makers to directly criticize young people for the youth unemployment rate, and subsequent attempts to reduce young people’s right to social protection, has been met with firm resistance by the Youth Forum and its Member Organisations. In this Paper the Youth Forum will detail the new employment challenges that young people face in Europe, as well as propose constructive and immediate actions that should be taken in order to reduce youth unemployment, protec