Young people are among those most affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic: they are the first to lose their jobs, to see their income fall and to find it difficult to (re)find work.
2022 being “European Year of Youth”, therefore, we ask the following question: what is being done to help disadvantaged young people find employment and/or training?
Young people without education, employment or training (NEET)
young people aged 15 to 29 years represent one sixth of the European population. But when it comes to finding a job, they face serious difficulties. Although youth unemployment is falling, they are still twice as likely to be unemployed as the rest of the working-age population.
Indeed, in Europe, one in eight young people is out of school, has no job, or is not in training – they are called “the NEETs” (short for Not in Education, Employment or Training).
To fill this gap and help young people find employment, the European Youth Guarantee allows all young people under the age of 30 who apply to receive an offer of employment, apprenticeship, education or training in a period of four months.
since its adoption in 2013every year, more than 3 million young people accepted an offer. what does it mean 36 million people have already benefited from this help.
ALMA Program: to offer new opportunities to young people
One of the ways to understand the European Youth Guarantee is to enable young people to acquire new skills and confidence by working abroad.
That’s exactly what this new program called SOUL (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve). It will be rolled out across the European Union later this year.
Our reporter Fanny Gauret went to the Czech Republic to meet these young people who are entering the world of work thanks to their professional experience abroad.
Julie Bastova grew up in foster families, often under difficult conditions. She trained as a social worker, but recently traveled to Dublin to do an internship in graphic design, which is her passion.
“I managed to work without experience in this field, which I could not have done here. I learned a lot thanks to the program, I could see the reality of working in a company. I also helped to illustrate a children’s book, I think I achieved something concrete”, Julia explains.
TLN Mobility helped 7,000 disadvantaged young people in their professional integration
“Ireland Expedition” is part of the European TLN Mobility initiative.
With a total budget of around €100 million – 70% of which comes from the European Social Fund – the program has already supported around 7,000 disadvantaged young people in their professional integration.
If for now Julie has returned to work as a social worker, she hopes to one day become a graphic designer: “I will continue on this path, train myself and also work on the sidelines. I learned to be much more independent.”
Throughout the project, a mentor is present at each stage to help participants in their English course, in their search for an internship. This support is essential, according to Tomke Travnicek, project manager:
“For disadvantaged young people, who have not had the experience of living abroad, it often happens that they have not finished their studies. Going abroad as part of an Erasmus program scares them. job.”
“Working and living with foreigners helped me a lot”
Denisa Hönigová suffers from social anxiety, which has greatly affected her professional life. Since her return from Ireland, she has worked in a cafe. Denisa did not finish her studies and had difficulty finding a job due to her health condition.
“I was a little lost, but I was hopeful that maybe I would have something better and improved. I think going to another country, having all these experiences, working and talking to foreigners all the time, living with foreigners also helped me a lot”, says the young woman who seems more accomplished.
Thanks to this experience abroad, Denisa improved her relationships with others and her internship allowed her to confirm her interest in alternative fashion:
“It made me realize that I want to create my own brand one day and I’m working towards it.”
In 2019, 1 in 3 young people spent at least 2 weeks abroad for work or training. This trend harms the most vulnerable young people.
Inspired by the TLN Mobility programme, the new European project called ALMA aims to offer them the same opportunities. in Brussels, the European Youth Forum recalls the guarantees necessary for the success of the project:
“The ALMA program can be a very good experience for young people. It can be a real advantage, but it must be accompanied by salary guarantees and access to social protection. Young people”, explains Manon Deshayes, responsible for policy at the European Youth Forum.
Solidarity with Ukrainian youth
There is a new group of young people who are suddenly and unexpectedly looking for work or want to continue their studies in Europe: young Ukrainians who fled the war.
The European Union has granted them the right to work and study and has just announced the creation of funds to support them.
To find out more, Naomi Lloyd spoke with European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit.
Naomi Lloyd, Euronews:“How can these European funds help these young Ukrainians to find work and continue their studies?”
Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner responsible for employment and social rights:
“These are resources that have not yet been used in the cohesion fund, nor in the European Social Fund. So we say to the Member States: ‘take this money and use it in a very flexible way to finance projects for Ukrainian refugees. ” We are talking about billions of euros here that can be used quickly. We are also working on your access to the labor market. For example, thanks to a system now translated into Ukrainian, we are making it easier for you to recognize your qualifications and skills.
Naomi Lloyd:“We have this great initiative, ALMA, coming soon. How do you think it can help disadvantaged people?”
“It gives young people a strength they absolutely need: self-confidence. It also gives them new opportunities, a new chance to gain experience, but also to become independent. career and find a steady job.”
**Naomi Lloyd: **_”Some fear internships won’t get paid. How can we make sure that doesn’t happen?”_
_”If that person works, not only must he have social protection. And social security is covered by European funds. But the company that employs him must also pay him a salary.”