Youth Employment Initiative and Youth Guarantee

In February 2013 the European Council agreed to create the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). It aims to support particularly young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in regions with a youth unemployment rate above 25%.  It is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes.[1] In April 2013 the Youth Guarantee Recommendation[2] was formally adopted to ensure young people's successful transition into work. The other financial source is the European Social Fund (ESF). The directly targeted YEI and ESF investment towards labour market integration of young people amounts to €12.7 billion for the period 2014-2020. A further €11 billion from the ESF aimed at measures such as the modernisation of employment services and self-employment will also support youth employment. All the funding is implemented through the ESF.

The Youth Guarantee is a commitment by all Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.[3] Five years after the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in 2013, the performance of young people in the labour market has improved significantly. Youth unemployment has decreased from 24% in 2013 to 15.1% in May 2018. This is faster than was predicted. Besides that, the NEET youth between 15-24 years old has decreased from 13.2% to 10.9% in 2017.[4]

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