We run the risk of losing an entire generation to the grip of long-term unemployment – that’s what a well placed Waterford business source told this newspaper last week. With that in mind, the EU’s recent pledging of €6billion towards the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative couldn’t be timelier.
This initiative includes a ‘Youth Guarantee’, which would give under-25s a guarantee of quality work, training or education within four months of leaving school or losing a job. The Youth Guarantee scheme builds on well-established models from Finland, Sweden and Austria where similar initiatives have proved successful ‘door-openers’ for getting young people into work.
Of the total, €3 billion is set to come from a new Youth Employment fund, with a further €3 billion from the European Social Fund (ESF). The bulk of the funding would be targeted on regions in the EU where youth unemployment rates are above 25 per cent.