The Youth Employment Initiative was launched to provide extra support to young people aged below 25 and living in regions where youth unemployment was higher than 25% in 2012.
It will particularly support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs), including long-term unemployed youngsters or those not registered as job-seekers.
This will ensure that in parts of Europe where the challenges are most acute, young persons can receive targeted support.
The YEI typically supports the provision of
The Youth Employment Initiative is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes. Under the Youth Guarantee, Member States should put in place measures to ensure that young people up to the age of 25 receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.
The Youth Employment Initiative is complementary to other actions undertaken at national level, including those with European Social Fund (ESF) support, with a view to setting up or implementing the youth guarantee schemes. The ESF can reach out beyond individuals and can help reform employment, education and training institutes and services.
The total budget of the YEI is €6.4 billion for the period 2014-20. The YEI is implemented in accordance with ESF rules.
Of the total budget, €3.2 billion comes from a dedicated Youth Employment budget line complemented by €3.2 billion more from the ESF. The ESF contribution is topped up by the eligible Member States' own financial resources.
In order to mobilise faster YEI actions on the ground, substantial funding was released to Member States in the form of pre-financing, which in 2015 was exceptionally increased to 30% of the special YEI budget line.