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Youth Employment Initiative: Commission adopts first programme with France

03/06/2014 Youth Employment Initiative: Commission adopts first programme with France

The European Commission has adopted today the first Operational Programme with France to use the available funding from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to tackle youth unemployment.

France will receive 620 million from the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund (ESF) to help young people not in employment, education or training (the so-called NEETs) to find a job, in those regions with youth unemployment rates over 25%. It is the first programme adopted in the EU for this €6 billion initiative covering 20 Member States.

Commissioner Andor took part today in a conference organised by the French government in Paris on the Youth Guarantee, the ambitious EU-wide reform aiming to ensure that every young person up to 25 years is offered a quality offer of employment, education or training within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.

13 French regions, namely Aquitaine, Auvergne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Guadeloupe, Guyane, Haute-Normandie, Languedoc-Roussillon, Martinique, Nord-Pas de Calais, Réunion, Mayotte, Picardie, are eligible for YEI funding, which includes match-funding from the European Social Fund (ESF). France has also chosen to allocate 10% of its YEI resources to sub-regions of its Ile de France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Midi-Pyrénées regions.

The YEI resources are programmed in the national, YEI-dedicated OP adopted today (covering 65% of the total), as well as in the forthcoming regional ESF Operational programmes.

The YEI in France will support different actions to help those young people with worse chances in the labour market, for example by:

  • counselling and training the less-skilled;
  • enabling mobility of apprentices at regional, national and in some cases cross-border level;
  • helping to prevent early school-leaving and better identify young NEETS, and
  • giving a second chance to those who left school without any diploma or qualification to set a foot on the labour market through work experience or traineeships (e.g. garantie jeunes, Ecole de la deuxième chance…).

Public Employment Services have a relevant role to achieve these aims and this operational programme will be an opportunity to improve their outreach to young NEETs.