Two years after the launch of the Youth Guarantee, the European Commission organised a dissemination conference on 8th May to examine the lessons and achievements experienced so far. The main focus of the conference was to evaluate 18 local Youth Guarantee innovative pilot projects that were launched by the European Parliament and the European Commission at the end of 2013.
The 18 pilot projects, introduced at the request of the European Parliament, took place in Spain, Italy, Romania, Ireland, UK, Poland, and Lithuania. The projects have allowed for the collection of data and experiences that will provide Member States with practical recommendations for implementing the Youth Guarantee in the future. Under the Youth Guarantee Member States have committed to ensuring that all young people under 25 who leave the education system or are made unemployed find a good-quality job or internship suited to their skills and experience, or join a training or education programme, within a 4 month period.
Representatives from DG Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility opened the conference, along with contributions from young people from three of the Member States who had participated in the Youth Guarantee pilot schemes. Overall results from the pilot projects indicate positive results, leading to the creation of 330 jobs for at-risk youth in areas of exceptionally high youth unemployment, and lead to 255 young people taking up a traineeship or job placement.
However, according to a survey completed during the conference by participants, 70% believed that young people are not involved in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. The European Youth Forum believes youth organisations can play a very active role in terms of communication to ensure a better awareness of the scheme amongst young people. As young people have often lost trust in Public Employment Services the role of youth organisations is vital to ensure that the more vulnerable young people in society are reached.
Therefore the Youth Forum is working closely with its members and organised in preparation for the conference a taskforce meeting with representatives from National youth councils of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain. This allowed members to share their different national perspectives and to discuss their experiences with representatives from the European Commission and the International Labour Organisation. The taskforce also began work on establishing a common position on the implementation of the Youth Guarantee that the European Youth Forum will continue to develop over the coming months.