The new 'Youth Opportunities Initiative', adopted by the Commission, calls on Member States to work on preventing early school leaving; helping youngsters develop skills relevant to the labour market; ensuring work experience and on-the-job training and helping young people find a first good job.
The Commission is also urging Member States to make better use of the European Social Fund which still has €30billion of funding uncommitted to projects. In addition, the Commission has put forward a set of concrete actions to be financed directly by EU funds.
Mr László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion stressed the urgency to tackle the youth jobless rate saying: “The current situation for young people in many EU countries today is becoming dramatic. Without decisive action at EU and national level we risk losing this generation with a heavy economic and social cost". Underlining that estimates show that the burden on society of current youth unemployment levels is about €2bn each week, or just over 1% of EU-27 GDP, the Commissioner added: "The current trend cannot continue, we must give young people hope. They are our future."
The main actions financed directly by the Commission in the new 'Youth Opportunities initiative' are:
The actions proposed by the Commission will pave the way for Member States to develop further youth-related measures under the next generation of European Social Fund programmes and as part of the EU budget 2014-2020.