On November 24 and 25, the capital of Bizkaia will host the most important international forum that has been held in Europe to date on youth unemployment. The Bilbao Youth Employment Forum is an attempt by the Novia Salcedo Foundation, organiser of the event, to maintain the focus on an issue that concerns governments, unions, businesses and civil society but that has merited very few specific measures given the magnitude of the problem.

Dozens of experts will gather in the Bizkaia Aretoa of the UPV to discuss the main obstacles young people need to overcome to find a job and to share labour and educational practices that are working in other countries. Luis Miguel Pariza, member of the European Economic and Social Committee, will attend the BYEF, an event that, in his opinion “is an opportunity for society to tell the people making the decisions that this situation is unsustainable from a social and economic point of view”.

On the other hand, Sabino Ayestarán, coordinator of the team that has worked on organising the forum stated that they have “made a great effort to bring together all the opinions on youth employment creation”. This professor at the UPV is confident that the BYEF working sessions will provide proposals to create jobs. “In any case, one thing is to theorise and a very different thing is to do something. In the case of employment policies, it is important to generate synergies between the various agents involved in job creation”, he says.

Consequently, Luis Miguel Pariza stresses that “urgent” changes to the economic policy are needed, putting an end to “suicidal austerity” and concentrating on policies that will generate growth and social cohesion. Changes that, in his opinion, should be accompanied by changes to the educational system, employment policies, work organisation and improvements in social dialogue and collective bargaining. These will surely be some of the issues covered in depth at the BYEF.