Reports 2016

Youth unemployment in Europe - Are we winning the battle?

20 September 2016


Youth unemployment has pursued a downward trend since 2013, heralding a positive development for the European Union. It is all the more encouraging to see this development coincide with the implementation of the Youth Guarantee Scheme, a European instrument that calls on EU member states to provide an offer to all young people under 25 years old of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of having left school or becoming unemployed. However, strong variations in youth employment persist across Europe and young people are still disproportionately disadvantaged in the labour market. Is it therefore legitimate to claim that Europe is winning the battle? What more should be done to intensify efforts to facilitate the integration of young people into the labour market and to maximise the success of the Youth Guarantee? 

These issues were debated by this Policy Dialogue, which drew on the findings of a new EPC study that looks into the design of the Youth Guarantee at the regional level and the direction taken by labour market reforms across the European Union. The event opened with a keynote speech by Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and was followed by a debate with other high-level speakers.

Speakers included: Claire Dhéret, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Caroline Mancel, Deputy Director, Actiris (Brussels-Capital Public Employment Service), Belgium, Neville Prentice, Director of Service Development & Delivery, Skills Development Scotland, Scotland, Michal Páleník, Director of the Employment Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia, Ton Wilthagen, Professor of Labour Market Studies, Tilburg University, the Netherlands; Chair of EPC Task Force on Youth Employment