Youth unemployment is one of Europe’s most pressing problems. In the current economic and financial crisis the lack of job opportunities has affected young people more than any other group in society; this is reflected in high and increasing youth unemployment rates and levels of precariousness.
The EP elections are just around the corner and we do not want to forget about unemployment among young people. These are the views of all Political Party Youth Organisations (PPYO’s) and JEF-Europe about this issue.
- EFAy – European Free Alliance Youth: EFAy is concerned about several negative aspects of society that are especially affecting the youth, in particular the levels of youth unemployment in Europe currently. Adverse tendencies in youth employment can be recognised, from measures such as raising barriers to access higher education, to youth being forced by their local economic situation to migrate to places with better outlooks on employment. EFAy urges the EU to increase the Erasmus+ funding programme and the Youth Employment initiative, and encourage the ability for youth to find education, training or a job in their home regions.
- Federation of Young European Greens – FYEG: Youth Unemployment is the symptom that something in Europe goes terribly wrong. We can not afford to not give a whole generation in Europe a perspective. Therefore we need to stop austerity measures now. We need to invest in the youth by implementing a youth guarantee in every country. We need to invest in apprenticeships for the youth and provide young people with the possibilities to start their own projects, be it companies, be it co-operatives, be it cultural or social projects. We, the youth, have potential and we want to use it. Give us the means.
- International Federation of Liberal Youth – IFLRY: Youth unemployment is essential in the debate of youth autonomy and independence. Employment is crucial in order for the individual to take part in society and have a purpose in life. IFLRY believes we must look to solutions within the private sector and foster entrepreneurship. It must be a goal to enhance individuals to take responsibility of their own life. Youth unemployment shouldn’t be seen as an age-specific issue, but more a problem to all social systems and a keystone for the future economic potential and competitiveness.
- European Liberal Youth – LYMEC: Youth unemployment is but a manifestation of unemployment, period. What we do know, is that it can be strongly reduced by a series of measures that rebalance the labour market. Present labour laws in most countries are designed to protect those who already have jobs, at the expenses of those (normally, younger) who want to access the labour market. This is especially true in those countries where the youth unemployment rates are much higher. Youth unemployment is not going to be tackled with subsidies, special measures or incentives. It is only reducible through fair laws that put everyone on the same footing, and through an educational system that gives the basic tools for people to pursue their careers – or change careers: having the same job for 40 years is something of the past.
- Young European Socialists – YES: Youth unemployment and young people working in poverty have to be effectively tackled throughout the European Union. We demand the implementation of a binding European youth guarantee. The guarantee must ensure that every young person under 25 and recent graduate under 30 will receive a job, further training or education within 3 months of becoming unemployed or graduating. Massive investment is necessary for its implementation: new, decent jobs need to be created, active labour market policies must be strengthened, the quality of education in general as well as the vocational and education training systems must be increased. Furthermore, we demand decent working conditions for young people, we oppose underpaid and unpaid internships, long working hours and temporary employment.
- Youth of European People’s Party – YEPP: The YEPP Jobs Plan is based on 3 steps: Tax incentives for job creators, skill-based education and zero bureaucracy for entrepreneurs. Taxation in Europe is so high that for an average of 2.3% reduction of the corporate tax across the Member States, the EU-based companies would afford to hire 2 million people, paid with the average European wage. The gap between education and the job market can only close with practices that are proven successful as the German and Austrian ‘Dual System’ that incorporates working experience into higher education. Today in Europe there are 25 million SMEs and 25 million unemployed. All the red-tape to startup and sustain a company is costing time and money that could be used to create jobs instead. Implementing these 3 steps strategically and with a country-specific approach will create millions of jobs for young people around Europe.
- Young Europeans Federalists – JEF Europe: Young people are confronted with national political systems that are simply not equipped to help them get out of their precarious employment situation. We need three things to deal with Youth Unemployment: more Europe, more solidarity and more democracy. European federalists are convinced that these three elements must come as a package. Call it the federalist trinity: we cannot manage to deal with youth unemployment without these three measures.