The Youth Guarantee is a commitment by all Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years receive
within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.
All EU countries have committed to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in a Council Recommendation of April 2013.
The Youth Guarantee has become a reality across the EU and has helped to improve the lives of millions of young Europeans.
Three years on from when the Youth Guarantee took off, young people’s labour market performance has improved significantly:
Even if such trends should be seen in the context of cyclical factors, the Youth Guarantee accelerates progress by increasing opportunities for young people.
The Youth Guarantee has significantly facilitated structural reforms and innovation in policy design across EU Member States. In 2013-2015, Member States adopted a total of 132 labour market measures targeting young people, highlighting a strong focus on youth employment policies. Member States can be divided into three groups according to the degree to which the Youth Guarantee has acted as a driver for reform.
Significant reforms and innovative measures have been introduced within the framework of national Youth Guarantee schemes.
In the Commission Staff Working Document on the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and the operation of the Youth Employment Initiative you can find an overview of further national reforms and measures.
Developing and delivering a Youth Guarantee scheme requires strong partnerships between all the key stakeholders: public authorities, employment services, career guidance providers, education & training institutions, youth support services, business, employers, trade unions, etc.
Early intervention and fast-acting measures to support young people's activation are essential and, in many cases, structural reforms are needed, such as improving vocational education and training systems and strengthening the public employment service's (PES) capacity to implement the Youth Guarantee.The EU has supported Member States in establishing their national Youth Guarantee schemes through substantial financial as well as policy support and mutual learning activities. In particular, the European Commission has helped each Member State to develop and deliver its own national Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan. Further, the Commission also facilitates the sharing of best practices between governments, in particular through the European Employment Strategy Mutual Learning Programme.
Recent research estimates the benefits of establishing a national Youth Guarantee scheme much higher than the costs. The total estimated cost of establishing Youth Guarantee schemes in the Eurozone is between €45 and €50 bn a year, or between 0.4% and 0.7% of GDP (Sources: ILO - The Youth Guarantee programme in Europe: Features, implementation and challenges, EUROFOUND - Social Inclusion of Young People).
However, inaction would be much more costly. Young people not in employment, education or training are estimated to cost the EU €162bn (1.21% of GDP) a year – in benefits and foregone earnings and taxes (Source: Eurofound - Mapping youth transitions in Europe).Not all Youth Guarantee measures are expensive. For example, a strengthened partnership between stakeholders is effective without requiring large budgets.
To make the Youth Guarantee a reality, national budgets should prioritise youth employment to avoid higher costs in the future. The EU will top-up national spending on these schemes through the European Social Fund and the €6bn Youth Employment Initiative.