In the face of growing youth unemployment challenges in Europe, the European social partners (ETUC – THE EUROPEAN TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION BUSINESS EUROPE;; – THE CONFEDERATION OF EUROPEAN BUSINESS; UEAPME – EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES; and CEEP – THE EUROPEAN CENTRE OF EMPLOYERS AND ENTERPRISES PROVIDING PUBLIC SERVICES) set down a framework of actions to be undertaken by the social partners, governments and other stakeholders to address the challenges.
They agreed main objectives (i) to create the right conditions to foster employment opportunities for young people and (ii) to ease their transitions between education and work, with a view to addresings three inter-related challenges:
1. Create more and better jobs and attractive career opportunities for young people;
2. Strengthen the quality and relevance of education and training at all levels to address skills mismatches;
3. Optimise the role of industry, in particular SMEs, and of high-performing public services in Europe as a driver of sustainable and inclusive growth.
Four priorities for action, of both short-term and long-term nature, were identified:
- learning – e.g. well-designed education and training curricula, with social partner involvement
- transition – e.g. guidance and information to support transitions between education, training and work
- employment – the role of national social partners and public authorities in creating the right conditions for job creation and for the integration of young people into the workforce
- entrepreneurship – the promotion of entrepreneurship as early as possible at school level and further integrated into secondary and tertiary education, be it general education or vocational education and training.