Two new reports discuss how young people's entry into employment can be supported through skills development, either through continued education or traineeships. The reports are based on real-life experiences over the first five years of the Youth Guarantee.
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The two recent “Experience from the Ground” reports on Continued Education Offers and Traineeships under the Youth Guarantee look at concrete ways to improve relevant skills of young people and support their first steps into work.
Since its launch in 2013, the Youth Guarantee has supported millions of young people across the European Union to find a job, a traineeship, an apprenticeship or to continue in education. However, too many young Europeans are still without work. Some of them are low-skilled and would greatly benefit from support which provides them with skills needed in the labour market. Quality traineeships and continued education measures have proven to be effective stepping stones to enter the labour market.
Role of continued education in labour market integration
According to the report on “Continued Education Offers under the Youth Guarantee”, the best way to ensure young people acquire the skills they need to succeed in work and life is to prevent early leaving from education and training.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) can be a good alternative for young people at risk of exclusion who struggle in general education. VET pedagogies and work-based learning are often better suited to at-risk youth.
However, regular vocational qualification pathways can sometimes be too demanding for some young people, and preparatory measures, such as 'bridging programmes' might need to be offered first.
Training schemes, ranging from language courses to work-based learning in companies, are also available as part of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMP) which strongly link to labour market demands and facilitate faster and more stable integration into employment.
Traineeships help acquire skills for work
The second report, “Traineeships under the Youth Guarantee” demonstrates how gaining initial professional experiences during a traineeship can benefit both employers and young people, leading to better matches between skills and jobs. However, traineeships need to be meaningful and well-structured to increase the likelihood of successful integration into regular work.
Some Member States have regulations and monitoring of traineeships. At the EU level, the Quality Framework for Traineeships (QFT) aims to ensure that young people can acquire high quality work experience.
The reports are part of a series of five papers concentrating on different policy measures implemented as part of the Youth Guarantee, the other three focusing on
- outreach to NEETs
- activation measures for young people in vulnerable situations
- employment and entrepreneurship under the Youth Guarantee.