Youth unemployment: measures in the countries

In France, around 650 000 people under 25 are jobless and a million are neither in employment, nor in education or training (NEET). The YEI in France will support the implementation of the national Youth Guarantee to help those young people with worse chances in the labour market. Actions include counselling and training the less-skilled; enabling mobility of apprentices at regional, national and in some cases cross-border level; helping to prevent early school-leaving and better identify young NEETS, and giving a second chance to those who left school without any diploma or qualification to gain a foothold in the labour market through work experience or traineeships. Public Employment Services have a crucial role to achieve these aims and the national operational programme will be an opportunity to improve their outreach to young NEETs.

In Poland YEI is implemented in the framework of the national Operational Programme which allows for a nation-wide development of educational-professional activation measures aiming at the integration of youth in the labour market, including those with disabilities. The target group of YEI in Poland has been extended to cover young people aged 24-29 based on the fact these youngsters are in a more difficult situation than the 15-24 group. Since the lack of experience and skills mismatch in the labour market were identified as the main causes of youth unemployment in Poland, the YEI will primarily support internships, training and other types of continuing education helping in successful integration to the labour market. Development of entrepreneurship, self-employment and geographical and professional mobility are also financed. The first operations have already been launched and around 4,500 young people have been involved in 2014.

In Italy the YEI Programme contributes to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, extended in Italy to people aged up to 29 and is expected to involve 1.72 million young NEET. Beneficiaries will be offered a personalised approach through a variety of actions: information and guidance; vocational training; work placements; apprenticeships; traineeships; promotion of self-employment; transnational and territorial professional mobility; a civil service scheme. Participants will be asked to sign individual agreements when enrolling. As of April 2015 the number of participants in YEI measures was over 54,000 (almost 10% of the overall target). In particular, 20,000 young people have received an offer supporting the transition to work and 18,000 got a traineeship offer (also combining transnational mobility). The “servizio civile” has been offered to more than 4,500 young NEETs.

In Spain the Programme covering the YEI foresees actions in all Spanish regions for young people not in employment, education or training (NEET). Young persons up to 25 years, and in case of a recognised disability up to 29 years, can participate in actions aiming at their activation as learners and job searchers, the acquisition of skills that can improve their employability, starting a sustainable entrepreneurial activity or finding stable employment. Beneficiaries will be offered a personalised integrated pathway through measures that will include second chance school programmes, dual vocational training programmes, trainings leading to a professional certificate, national and transnational mobility programmes, entrepreneurship support measures, traineeships or hiring subsidies linked to indefinite contracts.

In Greece, the YEI programme tackles youth unemployment by focusing on creating quality education opportunities, skills upgrading and sustainable employment for all and with a view to enhance social cohesion. A set of YEI supported interventions focus on young people aged 15 to 24 years via apprenticeship schemes, traineeships, actions to obtain work experience, start- up support for young entrepreneurs and integrated actions, to select the appropriate intervention.For young people aged 24-29 years the YEI supports specifically actions to obtain work experience and start- up support actions for young entrepreneurs. The proposed interventions of YEI are expected to promote employment including self-employment and improve skills and work experience of young people not in employment, education or training in order to support their integration or re-integration in the labour market. Thus far already four calls for proposals have been launched since 2014 and around 26,000 young people have started training before gaining practical experience in companies.

In Portugal, around 280 000 young people (aged 15-29) are neither in employment, education or training (NEET). This corresponds to 16% of all young people in Portugal. The YEI in Portugal will support the implementation of the national Youth Guarantee to help young people NEET aged 15 to 29 to find a job or a qualification offer. By supporting both those with worse chances in the labour market, as well as those with high qualifications that have been striving to find a job, the YEI will contribute to increase the job opportunities of the young people in Portugal and it will also address the increasing problem of “brain drain”. Actions include counselling activities, training; apprenticeships, traineeships, including at cross-border level; second chance programmes, hiring incentives and self-employment incentives.

In Croatia YEI will be implemented in the framework of the ESF Operational Programme “Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020” with the YEI specific allocation of EUR 66 million and the ESF corresponding support of EUR 66 million amounting to EUR 132 million. Young people in Croatia are in a particularly unfavourable position in the labour market, with the unemployment rate for 15-29 age group of 35.2% in 2013, and a NEET rate of 20.9%. One of the key issues is the lack of working experience. Croatia will allocate YEI funds on active labour market policy measures with particular focus on acquiring the first working experience, return to education and support for entrepreneurship aimed at young people aged 15-29. Key results expected to be achieved with the YEI funds include increasing stable and sustainable employment and self-employment level of unemployed youth, especially long-term unemployed NEET as well as their employability, providing necessary working experience, skills upgrade and practical skills attainment.

In Belgium, the YEI is implemented through two OPs (Wallonia-Brussels and Bruxelles-Capitale), both containing an axis specifically dedicated to young people, which includes the YEI as a means of implementing the broader objectives of the Youth Guarantee. In the Wallonia-Brussels OP, the actions towards young people, and NEETs in particular, will aim at offering professional experience, specific training courses combined with work, and, among others, better managing the transition between school and professional life. Concrete projects will also address school drop-out and early school leaving. In the Bruxelles-Capitale OP, supported actions will include coaching support for young people. Projects will also provide concrete offers for employment, training and internships. It is to be noted that the Bruxelles-Capitale OP also includes specific projects, in collaboration with the Flemish Region, for the Dutch-speaking young people and NEETs of the Brussels Region.

In Romania, the YEI is implemented in the framework of the national Operational Programme for human capital development, expected to be adopted in February-March 2015. With a share of young people not in employment, education or training (15-24) higher than the EU average (17.2% for 2013, compared to an EU average of 13%), Romania has chosen to support from EU funds both the regions eligible for YEI and the rest of the country. The measures offered to young people envisage personalised integrated packages, depending on the profile of the young NEETs. The measures can include counselling, orientation, training – including vocational training, support for finding a job, apprenticeships, support to young NEETs for setting up companies and entrepreneurship counselling, support for mobility of young NEETs to find a job in another region of Romania or incentives for employers to create jobs, apprenticeships etc. There are also dedicated measures aimed at outreaching non-registered NEETs, with a view to registering them with the Public Employment Service and offering the support in the framework of the Youth Guarantee.


European Commission – Fact Sheet; Brussels, 22 May 2015

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