The aim of the conference is to consider whether EU schemes are actually delivering results in the labour market and whether they are providing appropriate support to young people.
High-level experts from the EU institutions, practitioners and representatives of young people and employers, as well as other public and private stakeholders, will exchange views and ideas regarding the EU’s youth employment schemes and reflect on ways forward for measures to boost youth employment. They will also draw on the conclusions presented in the ECA's Special Report – “Youth unemployment – have EU policies made a difference? An assessment of the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative", which will be published on 4 April 2017.
Youth unemployment is not a new phenomenon, and several EU Member States have experienced extremely high levels for many years. The 2008 economic crisis has increased the difficulties faced by young people in trying to access the labour market. While the situation has improved recently, more than 4.2 million people in the EU under the age of 25 were still unemployed at the end of June 2016.
One of the most significant EU initiatives to address this issue is the Youth Guarantee, under which Member States are meant to ensure that all young people under 25 are offered good quality employment, further education, apprenticeships or traineeships within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed..
In addition, the European Council has agreed to establish the Youth Employment Initiative, with an approved budget of 6.4 billion euro (3.2 billion from a specific new EU budget line to be matched by 3.2 billion euro from ESF national allocations) to increase the EU financial support available to the regions and individuals struggling the most with youth unemployment and inactivity.