The European Commission, under the patronage of President Barroso, hosted a conference in Brussels on 8 April on the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
The conference was attended by over 370 key practitioners, experts and political figures involved in the implementation of the Council Recommendation on establishing a Youth Guarantee, adopted in April 2013.
This recommendation called on Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.
A key message throughout the event was that concerted effort is taking place in Europe to implement the Youth Guarantee to ensure that quality employment for young people is part of this economic recovery.
President Barroso, who opened the conference with a welcome address, emphasised that the quality of offers issued as part of the Youth Guarantee is essential if a real difference is to be made to the generation of young Europeans who have been hardest hit by the economic crisis. The call for quality was a recurrent theme during the event.
The Director General of the International Labour Organisation, Guy Ryder, picked this up in his keynote address, seeing the call for good-quality offers rather than a quick fix solution for young people as one of the Youth Guarantee’s most important characteristics. Mr. Ryder also addressed the move from the political level to the practical in his closing remarks. Although he sees that getting to this stage has been no mean feat for Europe, for Mr. Ryder, now is the time for delivery.
In Commissioner Andor’s opening words, he noted that while previous conferences on the Youth Guarantee have taken place at a high level, this event was for the people working directly on implementation. This shift reflects the additional priorities: while political momentum was essential in the early stages, the emphasis must now also be on immediate action.
A choice of sessions was available during the day. Various topics were covered:
- Session 1: Implementing the Youth Guarantee in countries with high youth unemployment: What is realistic – and is it sufficient?
- Session 2: Seeing is believing: Youth organisations at the heart of implementing the Youth Guarantee
- Session 3: Companies' contributions to the Youth Guarantee under the European Alliance for Apprenticeships
- Session 4: European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative – how far are Member States in using EU funding for the Youth Guarantee?
Presentations from these sessions are available on the right-hand side column of this page.
President Barroso's speech
Commissioner Andor's opening address