Question for written answer E-008851/2015
to the Commission
Jonathan Arnott (EFDD) and Julia Reid (EFDD)
Subject: Youth unemployment in the Member States
It was mentioned in the budget draft meeting by Rapporteur Arthuis that it is crucial to tackle youth unemployment in Europe by increasing mobility and by using Erasmus as a tool to do so. What other options have the EU explored to reduce youth unemployment, in terms of apprenticeships and growth, and to keep people in their own home nations in order to contribute towards growth and not add to the problem of brain drain?
Answer given by Ms Thyssen
on behalf of the Commission
The Council Recommendation on establishing a Youth Guarantee1 calls on Member States to ensure that all young people under 25 receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed2. The Commission considers that setting up Youth Guarantee schemes is a fundamental structural reform. It can make a systemic difference in improving school-to-work transitions, thus creating the right conditions for growth thanks to better functioning labour markets. Substantial EU financial support to youth employment measures is provided by the European Structural Investment Funds (ESI Funds)3, in particular the ESF and the Youth Employment Initiative. The ERDF also supports employment and long-term growth by financing productive investments to boost employment and counter brain drain (e.g. business support to safeguard jobs, investment in education and public employment infrastructure).
Regarding apprenticeships, new priorities for modernisation Vocational Education and Training (VET) were endorsed by Member States ministers in Riga on 22 June 2015. They include a focus on work-based learning with particular attention to apprenticeships. The Commission will support efforts of Member States to implement the 5 priorities. One example of such a support is the European Alliance for Apprenticeships which aims at increasing supply, quality and image of apprenticeships. The Ministerial meeting in Riga gave a new boost to the Alliance involving 38 new pledges including from business organisations, chambers, social partners, VET providers, and 7 new countries joining.