Today, the Council adopted by unanimity a Recommendation on ‘A Bridge to Jobs – Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee’. The main aim is to better support youth employment across the EU, in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is bringing back high youth unemployment rates and increasing the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
The new Youth Guarantee reaffirms the commitment of the EU member states to set up national schemes through which young people can receive an offer of employment, education, traineeship or apprenticeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. At the same time, the recommendation extends the age limit for targeted young people from 25 to up to 29 years and provides for better inclusion of persons from vulnerable groups, such as NEETs, young women and people with disabilities.
The Youth Guarantee will be implemented through supportive measures at national, regional and local level, taking into account the following guidelines:
- mapping – identifying target groups, available services, skills needs and young people at risk of becoming a NEET
- outreach – targeted information campaigns among young people and reaching out to NEETs
- preparation – better profiling to match needs and responses, counselling and guidance, and improving digital and other important skills
- offer – employment incentives, quality and equity, and post-placement support
The measures provided in the recommendation will be financed by EU funds, such as the European Social Fund Plus (‘ESF+’), and investments by member states. The Recovery and Resilience Facility and REACT-EU will provide additional Union funding for youth employment measures.
The recommendation was adopted by written procedure.
The new recommendation replaces the Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee. The initiative has helped to improve the lives of millions of young Europeans. More than 5 million young people have registered in Youth Guarantee schemes each year since 2014, and more than 3.5 million of them accepted an offer of employment, continued education, a traineeship or an apprenticeship.