Wednesday

11th Dec 2019

Brussels tests out youth jobs scheme

  • 'Any young person between the ages of 18 and 30 interested in working in another EU country can apply' (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission launched a €4 million pilot project on Monday (21 May) to help 5,000 young people find jobs in other EU countries.

With youth unemployment twice as high as the EU average, the initiative aims to help balance out the mismatch between skills found in one country and demand in another.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

One in eight under 25s is either not employed, in school or in a training programme. "The risk is seeing a generation go to waste," warned EU employment commissioner Laszlo Andor last week.

Employment agencies in Spain, Germany, Denmark and Italy will run the pilot project, called 'Your first Eures Job,' but young people from any member state can use its services.

"Any young person between the ages of 18 and 30 interested in working in another EU country can apply," said Andor’s spokesperson.

Applicants, selected by employment agencies from the four member states, will also be entitled to funds covering, for example, travel expenses of up to €300.

They can also obtain up to €900 to help pay for moving costs should they relocate. Small companies can also apply for financial support to cover training costs of up to €900.

The scheme is part of a larger reform to transform Eures - the network of member states' employment services - into a pan-European employment agency by 2013. Job placement must be a minimum six months.

The European Youth Forum (YFJ), a Brussels-based platform for national youth councils and international non-governmental youth organisations, told EUobserver that the pilot project is a step in the right direction but other more critical issues such as quality traineeships remain unresolved.

"In general we see this as an interesting initiative, however, it's only a pilot," said Giuseppe Porcaro, YFJ’s secretary-general.

The YFJ said the commission's 'Youth Opportunities Initiative,' launched as part of its larger employment package in April, has yet to demonstrate any real progress or new commitments.

The organisation wants to see a guarantee on youth employment ensuring everyone under 25 would not remain unemployed for more than four months. The commission proposed giving €4 million to member states to set up such schemes but Porcaro said concrete details on the commission's plan are missing.

Meanwhile, Germany risks facing a massive skilled labour shortage. Frank-Jurgen Weise, head of the Federal Labour Agency (BA), said in an interview published in the Die Welt newspaper earlier this month that Germany in the next few years needs around 2 million qualified foreigners to avoid a labour crunch.

Tens of thousands of Spaniards and Greeks have already migrated to Germany.

Last week, Germany's Federal Bureau of Statistics revealed a jump of Spanish and Greek migrants in 2011 compared to 2010 - around 24,000 Greeks settled in Germany, a 90 percent increase from 2010 and some 52,000 Spaniards moved to Germany, representing a 52 percent increase over 2010, said the bureau.

Spanish people are also seeking new opportunities in Belgium. Nurses, trained in Spain are moving to Flanders to fill vacant posts. A handful will soon complete Flemish language courses in Madrid before moving to Flanders near the end of the year, reports the De Morgen newspaper.

The latest report by the European vacancy monitor, issued by the commission in April, shows the overall labour demand throughout most of the EU is slowing.

The commission attributed the decline to the "deterioration in the economic situation and the continued implementation of austerity measures."

Separately, the commission will issue recommendations at the end of the month on how member states can introduce reforms into the labour market to reduce unemployment.

EU leaders trying to shift focus from deficits to jobs

Besides a treaty on fiscal discipline, European leaders meeting in Brussels on Monday will also seek to adopt non-binding measures on employment. Their summit will come in the midst of a general strike expected to paralyse the EU capital.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Interview

EU Africa envoy: Europe needs to look beyond migration

Europe's obsession with migration from Africa means it risks losing out the continent's potential when it comes to trade, says the EU's ambassador to the African Union, Ranier Sabatucci. "Africa is a growing continent, it is the future," he says.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs protest against PM Babis over EU subsidy 'fraud'
  2. EU disbursed €2.7bn for Turkey refugees
  3. UK ports set to host EU border checks for Northern Ireland
  4. EU puts tech giants in crosshairs
  5. Faroe Islands under pressure to chose Huawei
  6. Hungary asked to apologise after council leak
  7. MEPs: Finnish budget proposal 'impossible to implement'
  8. EP committee supports 'Future of EU Conference'

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  2. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  3. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us