The European Commission launched Youth on the Move, a new flagship initiative aimed at helping young people to gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to make their first job a reality.
Five million young Europeans are looking for a job. Many of them will miss opportunities because they lack the right qualifications or experience. Part of the EU’s new Europe 2020 strategy, Youth on the Move proposes 28 key actions aimed at making education and training more relevant to young people's needs and encouraging more of them to take advantage of EU grants to study or train in another country. This will increase young people's employability and access to the labour market.
Youth on the Move will be instrumental in achieving the Europe 2020 headline targets of reducing the share of early school leavers from 15% to 10% and increasing the share of young people with tertiary education or equivalent from 31% to at least 40% by 2020. Youth on the Move actions will also help Member States reach the headline EU target for 75% employment over the next ten years by helping to ensure that young people have the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Commission studies show that 35% of new jobs will require high-level qualifications by 2020 and that 50% will require medium-level qualifications.
These challenges call for concerted action and robust policy coordination to identify action at EU level and in Member States. The Commission will support Member States in designing policies to support those most at risk of unemployment, to do more to encourage young entrepreneurs and to address legal and administrative obstacles to learning and working mobility.
Independent studies show that more than 40% of employers attach importance to the experience gained from study and work abroad, which not only enables young people to improve their language abilities but also to acquire other skills that are highly valued. The Commission already has a long tradition of supporting mobility through the grants it provides from Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig and Marie Curie.
Youth on the Move aims to extend opportunities for learning mobility to all young people in Europe by 2020. The Commission will today launch a public consultation on the future of its mobility programmes for post 2013.