Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

The Youth Guarantee

What is the Youth Guarantee?

The Youth Guarantee is a commitment by all Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years receive a good quality offer of

  • employment
  • continued education
  • apprenticeship
  • traineeship

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.

What has been achieved so far?

The Youth Guarantee has become a reality across the EU and has helped to improve the lives of millions of young Europeans.

  • More than 5 million young people have registered in YG schemes each year since 2014.
  • Since 2014, each year more than 3.5 million young people registered in the YG accepted an offer of employment, continued education, a traineeship or an apprenticeship. 
  • The Youth Employment Initiative has provided direct support to over 2.4 million young people across the EU.

Videos: Youth Guarantee / YEI testimonials and projects

5 years from when the Youth Guarantee took off, young people’s labour market performance has improved significantly:

  • There are  2.3 million fewer young unemployed in the EU and 1.8 million fewer young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
  • Youth unemployment has decreased from a peak of 24% in 2013 to 14% in 2019.
  • The share of 15- to 24-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs) has fallen from 13.2% in 2012 to 10.3% in 2018.

The improving economic situation in Europe has benefitted young people. Progress so far also suggests that the Youth Guarantee has made a difference. It has created opportunities for young people and acted as a powerful driver for structural reforms and innovation.

The Commission will continue to support the full roll-out of national Youth Guarantee schemes. The EU’s commitment to the Youth Guarantee has been reiterated in the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Communication: The Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative three years on

EU factsheet on the Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative

Success stories

You can find an overview of other national reforms and measures in

How have Youth Guarantee schemes been set up?

The Youth Guarantee has shifted the focus to early intervention and outreach to NEETs, and highlighted the gaps in delivering services to unemployed youth. As a result, the majority of public employment services have improved and expanded their services for young people.

Apprenticeship and traineeship reforms have helped better prepare young people for the labour market and build relevant skills. Coordination among employment, education, social and youth policies has increased. New partnerships have been set up with social partners, youth services and youth organizations.

The EU has supported Member States in developing their national Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan. The Commission helps monitor the implementation of the national schemes and facilitates mutual learning  through the European Employment Strategy Mutual Learning Programme and activities financed under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).

Funding

The Youth Employment Initiative, together with significant dedicated investments by the European Social Fund are the key EU financial resource to support implementation of the Youth Guarantee on the ground for the 2014-2020 programming period.

The Youth Employment Initiative began with EUR 6.4 billion for most affected Member States. Thanks to its positive impact, it was then increased to 8.8 billion in 2017.

By giving priority to youth employment in their national budgets, Member States may avoid higher costs in the future.  

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