At a press conference, on 11 June 2013, ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and CEEP presented their Framework of Actions on Youth Employment, resulting from social dialogue negotiations.
With youth unemployment rates currently at 24.4% in the euro area and 23.5% in the EU27, urgent and determined action is needed. Europe cannot afford such a waste of talent.
This Framework of Actions is the first priority of the European Social Dialogue Work Programme for 2012-2014. With it, the European social partners aim to promote solutions to reduce youth unemployment. They call on national social partners, public authorities and other stakeholders to act together and achieve concrete progress in favour of youth employment.
A multi-pronged approach is needed to foster dynamic, open and mobile labour markets for young people with measures and appropriate resources focusing on the creation of more and better jobs, high quality learning outcomes, and better match between skills supply and demand, including through the spread of work-based learning across Europe.
This Framework of Actions is based on existing and new practices linked to the four priorities identified: learning, transition, employment and entrepreneurship. The European social partners aim to promote the most effective initiatives identified across Europe that could be used as inspiration for designing solutions by national social partners in their respective contexts. Recommendations to other relevant actors such as the EU institutions and Member States are also included.
National social partners will report on their activities annually over the next three years.
Bernadette Ségol, ETUC General Secretary said: "ETUC rejects the idea of a sacrificed, lost generation of young people. Public authorities and social partners must assume their responsibilities and address the fundamental concerns of this group. With this framework of actions on youth employment, social partners are committing themselves to take urgent action and recommend concrete measures to the other stakeholders."
Markus J. Beyrer, BUSINESSEUROPE Director General: "Immediate action is needed to support young people in their search for a first job. Employers are willing to contribute to efforts made to offer work, apprenticeship places or help young people to start their own enterprise. But our capacity to modernise European education and training systems and labour markets to create more jobs and equip young people with the right skills will make a difference if we want lasting solutions. This is why BUSINESSEUROPE and its members engaged in this framework of actions.
Valeria Ronzitti, General Secretary, European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services (CEEP) said: "Youth employment is one of Europe's most pressing challenges. The scope of the Framework of Actions demonstrates well the large amount of areas where efforts need to be made by all actors. In this respect, public service employers face their own specific challenges and opportunities when it comes to fostering youth employment and we welcome that the Framework of Actions addresses many of these vital issues. Considering the gravity of the situation it is of outmost importance to ensure an effective and comprehensive follow up of the Framework of Actions, and public service employers are fully committed to achieve this.
Liliane Volozinskis, Director for Social Affairs of UEAPME said: "The current level of youth unemployment is unbearable for the economy and the whole society. At the same time Crafts and SMEs, the main source of job creation in Europe despite the crisis, deplore the lack of qualified young workers and growing skills mismatches. This results from long-standing labour market structural problems and a more recent lack of jobs due to the crisis. The diversity of situation in the Member States on youth employment requires in-depth analysis and to act swiftly on the identified main weaknesses along the four priorities defined in the Framework of actions and a national coordinated strategy between social partners, public authorities and various stakeholders. For being fully effective such measures should be incentivised by European financial means such as the 6 billion of the Youth Employment Initiative and growth enhancing measures"