German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Europe “is no longer a land of future for young people” because of the few jobs that are being generated by most of the countries, which have youth unemployment rates between 30 and 40%. In fact, she regretted that nine out of every ten jobs in this globalised world are being created outside Europe.

Merkel described this scenario during the opening of the Digitising Europe Forum, which brought together representatives from multinational technology businesses, digital experts and members of several governments, in Berlin. A meeting where she stressed the need for a commitment towards a digital economy “as an engine of growth in the EU”. The Chancellor said Industry 4.0 is “the only chance for Europe to catch up” in reference to the plan launched to digitize the powerful German industrial sector.

During the first day of this forum, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said that many of the 900,000 jobs to be created in the EU next year will come from the digital world. However, he regretted that many young people, especially in southern Europe, see technology as something that destroys employment

Vocational training for immigrants

Enabling young people to access the labour market is among Angela Merkel’s plans, as she demonstrated in recent days. At a more local level, specifically at the seventh Integration Summit, a forum that brings together representatives from the German government, industry, unions and groups of foreigners, she admitted the need to improve the access of immigrants to vocational training. Germany, the driving force of the European economy, has become the second country worldwide, after the USA, that receives the largest number of immigrants. 400,000 people moved to Germany in 2012 and the number of immigrants already represents one fifth of the population.

Given this situation, the Chancellor noted that 30.5% of young people without German passports did not complete their vocational training; a percentage that is three times higher than among German nationals. Coinciding with the forum, the Ministry of Economy announced the opening of an information telephone line, which will be attended in various languages, for people who want to emigrate to Germany to study or work.