Today one in five young Europeans cannot find a job. This figure equates to around five million people in the EU. Young people have been hardest hit by the economic crisis because they often lack the experience and skills to be competitive in a context where jobs are scarce. SMEs are a key employer in today’s labour market and are recovering more quickly from the economic crisis than large enterprises. They also play an important role in driving Europe’s recovery. However, SMEs are often not the first port of call for young people searching for work, which can result in them missing out on potential talent.Aware of these challenges, the EU’s Youth@Work programme aims to consolidate national and EU efforts to reverse youth employment trends. It should promote contacts between young people and SMEs, which plays the role of a motor in the recovery of the continent.