Procedure : 2013/2045(INI)
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Document selected : A7-0275/2013

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A7-0275/2013

Debates :

PV 10/09/2013 - 17

Votes :

PV 11/09/2013 - 5.17

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0365

REPORT     
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22 July 2013
PE 508.047v02-00 A7-0275/2013

on tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out

(2013/2045(INI))

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Rapporteur: Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out

(2013/2045(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2010 on ‘Promoting youth access to the labour market, strengthening trainee, internship and apprenticeship status’,(1)

–   having regard to the Commission communication ‘Youth Opportunities Initiative’ (COM(2011)0933), and to its resolution of 24 May 2012 on the Youth Opportunities Initiative(2) and its question for oral answer to the Commission on the Youth Opportunities Initiative(3),

–   having regard to the Commission communication on the implementation of the Youth Opportunities Initiative (COM(2012)0727),

–   having regard to the Commission communication ‘Youth on the Move’ (COM(2010)0478),           

–   having regard to the Council conclusions, adopted in Luxembourg on 17 June 2011, on promoting youth employment to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives,

–   having regard to the European Council conclusions of 7 February 2013 on a Youth Employment Initiative,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal of 5 December 2012 entitled ‘Towards a quality framework on traineeships. Second-stage consultation of the social partners at European level under Article 154 TFEU’ (COM(2012)0728),

–   having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council recommendation of 5 December 2012 on a Youth Guarantee (COM(2012)0729),

–   having regard to the Eurofound report of 13 June 2012 entitled ‘Youth Guarantee: Experiences from Finland and Sweden’,

–   having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2013 on a Youth Guarantee(4),

–   having regard to the political agreement reached in Council on 28 February 2013 on a Council recommendation on establishing a Youth Guarantee,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 27 April 2009 entitled ‘An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering. A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities’ (COM(2009)0200),

–   having regard to the proposal for an amendment to the Commission document ‘Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006’ (COM(2011)0607),

–   having regard to the statement by the Members of the European Council of 30 January 2012 entitled ‘Towards growth-friendly consolidation and job-friendly growth’,

–   having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2010 on mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020(5);

–   having regard to the European Quality Charter of Internships and Apprenticeships, developed by the European Youth Forum together with social partners and other stakeholders,

–   having regard to the Eurofound report of 22 October 2012 entitled ‘NEETs: young people not in employment, education or training: characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe’(6),

–   having regard to the Eurofound report of 21 December 2012 entitled ‘Effectiveness of policy measures to increase the employment participation of young people’(7),

–   having regard to the Eurofound report of 29 April 2011 entitled ‘Helping young workers during the crisis: contributions by social partners and public authorities’(8),

–   having regard to its report on the integration of migrants, its effects on the labour market and the external dimension of social security coordination in the EU (2012/2131(INI)),

–   having regard to the Eurofound report of 7 February 2012 entitled ‘Recent policy developments related to those not in employment, education and training (NEETs)’(9),

–   having regard to the Eurofound report of 15 January 2013 entitled ‘Active inclusion of young people with disabilities or health problems’(10),

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0275/2013),

A.  whereas in June 2013 23.5 % of active young people were jobless, with the rates ranging from 10 % or less in Austria and Germany to 64.2 % in Greece, indicating marked geographical differences both between and within Member States; whereas the most recent data and forecasts indicate a continued deterioration in the situation facing young people in some Member States;

B.   whereas unemployment among women aged below 25 continues to rise, having increased from 18.8 % in 2009 to 22.1 % in 2012 and, according to the latest available data, now stands at 22.9 %; whereas attitudes such as discouragement, self-exclusion and disaffection with work are becoming increasingly widespread; whereas young women still face worse labour market conditions than young men, and whereas this is resulting in a significant loss of economic growth potential for Europe through under-utilisation of the skills of highly qualified women;

C.  whereas in 2011 7.5 million young people aged 15-24 and 6.5 million aged 25-29 were not in education, employment or training (NEETs), among them members of vulnerable groups; whereas this could lead to serious personal and social consequences such as insecure future employment prospects and poverty and social exclusion, or even mental and physical dysfunctions; whereas these problems are likely to increase in the near future, and whereas they have serious financial implications for Member States’ welfare systems;

D.  whereas having 14 million NEETs calls for far greater efforts on the part of the Member States and the European institutions to reintegrate young people into the labour market; whereas young people across Europe have significantly differing needs, and therefore any labour market integration measures must be tailored to the needs of each specific group, and where possible also include personal assessment policies;

E.   whereas in 2011 the economic loss due to the disengagement of young people from the labour market was estimated at EUR 153 billion in the Member States, corresponding to 1.2 % of EU GDP(11); whereas this sum exceeds by far the estimated EUR 10 billion which would be needed to create 2 million new jobs for young people;(12) whereas this represents a serious long-term social and economic burden for the EU as a whole;

F.  whereas youth unemployment is an important contributing factor to the sharp rise in migration that is taking place in a number of Member States; whereas only a very small minority of those who opt for mobility and migration do so voluntarily, rather than in response to economic imperatives;

G.  whereas major investment is needed in the EU to create growth and jobs and boost domestic demand; whereas an investment package amounting to 2 % of EU GDP is needed to bring about a significant improvement in the short-term economic situation and in the state of affairs on the labour markets of the Member States; whereas this measure would primarily benefit young people, as the group hardest hit by the crisis;

H.  whereas young people are particularly disadvantaged during economic crises, more so than most groups; whereas for many young people current unemployment can be expected to turn into long-term unemployment, greatly increasing the risk of social exclusion; whereas this has alarming consequences for young individuals, lowering their self-esteem, leaving their ambitions unrealised, reducing their earnings and career prospects and delaying their possibilities of assuming an independent adult life including starting a family, and consequently also for society, negatively impacting on the social, economic and demographic situation in Europe in both the short and the long term and increasing the likelihood of young people experiencing poverty in old age as a result of their inability to pay pension contributions throughout their working lives;

I.    whereas Article 13 of the EC Treaty specifically empowers the Community to combat discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation; whereas despite Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, young women still suffer age and gender discrimination when they enter the labour market;

J.    whereas despite high overall levels of youth unemployment, approximately four million jobs are vacant in the EU(13) due to skills mismatches; whereas in certain fields, such as the ICT and R&D sectors, there is a persistent and increasing demand for highly-qualified staff which is not met;

K.  whereas the ILO has recommended a budget of EUR 21 billion, equivalent to 0.5 % of all spending in the eurozone, for the full implementation of a youth guarantee in the EU;

L.   whereas in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy the EU has undertaken to raise education levels, reduce school dropout rates to less than 10 % by 2020, increase the rate of completion of tertiary or equivalent education among people in the 30-34 age group to at least 40 %, and increase the employment rate in the 20-64 age group to 75 %;

M.  whereas the crisis has led to an increase in the number of people, and in particular young people, in insecure employment, and whereas many full-time jobs have been replaced by work performed by people on short-term contracts, part-time work and unpaid work;

N.  whereas more and more young people are being forced to take both unpaid and paid traineeships, a state of affairs which is discriminatory towards those who are less well-off; whereas the problem of the exploitation of trainees as cheap labour must be acknowledged, and a set of quality criteria for traineeships is therefore needed;

O.  whereas SMEs and micro-enterprises, which are a driving force for economic growth and job creation and for achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, have shed more than 3.5 million jobs and significantly cut recruitment as a result of the economic crisis, and workplace closures have affected all workers, young people hardest of all;

P.   whereas young people have the right to quality employment in accordance with their skills; whereas quality employment is fundamental to the dignity and autonomy of Europe's youth;

Q.  whereas the economic crisis which became visible in 2008 has negatively affected both demand and supply on the labour market, thus dramatically increasing uncertainty over job prospects and making it essential for all unemployed people to be better informed about employment prospects; whereas education, training and skills development are often inaccessible for the most deprived groups, including young people with disabilities;

R.   whereas, by virtue of their emphasis on practical skills, dual education systems that combine classroom teaching with vocational training, and combined academic-vocational degree courses existing in a number of Member States, have proven their value during the crisis; whereas the Commission has repeatedly noted that effective dual education systems can guarantee a steady supply of qualified workers while keeping youth unemployment rates low;

S.   whereas the transition from full-time education to the labour market is a turning-point in the lives of young people and one which has a decisive bearing on their career prospects, lifetime earning potential and long-term social circumstances; whereas, in this context, education policy cannot be divorced from labour market policy;

T.   whereas the economic crisis which began in 2008 has negatively affected both demand and supply on the labour market, thus dramatically increasing uncertainty over job prospects and making it essential to address the issue of investment by Member States in job creation, training and education; whereas the consequences of the crisis may include increased social conflict and unrest;

U.  whereas employment agencies play a key role in the labour market and should therefore be required to meet stringent quality standards and to have their compliance with those standards checked by the competent authorities; whereas those quality standards and the requirement to undergo checks should apply in the same way to both public and private employment agencies;

V.  whereas part of the solution for unemployment may be the development of high-quality vocational education and training systems, with highly qualified teachers and trainers, innovative learning methods, high-quality infrastructure and facilities and a high labour market relevance, offering pathways to further education and training;

W. whereas young people account for 40 % of those employed on temporary contracts, but make up just 13 % of total employment, and one in five young people fear losing their jobs;

X. whereas in some Member States an increasing gap between the skills of graduates and the skills requirements of the labour market can be observed;

Y.  whereas taking account of the requirements of the labour market should not preclude children from acquiring the broadest possible foundation of knowledge, as that is the best way of ensuring they will be able to adapt to the vagaries of the employment market and of life in general; whereas most studies demonstrate the importance of providing quality education from the earliest school years as a means of preventing early school-leaving and ensuring that children from the most disadvantaged social backgrounds are fully integrated into school life;

Z    whereas open educational resources improve the quality, accessibility and equity of education and facilitate an interactive, creative, flexible and personalised learning process through the use of ICT and new technologies; whereas open education enhances sustained employability by supporting lifelong learning;

AA. whereas both schoolteachers and university teachers face unprecedented challenges arising from the rapidly changing global economic environment, in which the development of new skills and competences, innovative approaches and modern teaching methods is key to ensuring effective youth education and employability;

AB. whereas 60 % of graduates are women, who are often placed in positions in which they are under-qualified or underpaid; whereas young women are also affected by gender differences in non-employment and employment conditions, which results in a pay gap (currently 16.2 %) as well as a pension gap;

AC. whereas flexibility and job insecurity have a greater effect on the employment of women than on that of men: whereas in the third quarter of 2012, of all part-time workers in the 15-24 age group some 60 % were women, while in the same age group, of all temporary workers with tertiary education (first degree or postgraduate degree), 64 % were women;

AD. whereas despite Article 19 TFEU, Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 and Directive 2006/54/EC of 5 July 2006, young women still suffer age and gender discrimination when they enter the labour market; whereas access to the official labour market is harder for women from vulnerable social groups, including ethnic minorities;

AE. whereas motherhood often hampers access for young mothers to the labour market, thereby contributing to the widening of the gender employment gap;

AF. whereas youth employment measures needs to be integrated within a consistent, future-oriented and investment-oriented oriented macroeconomic strategy that can ensure the conditions for the creation of sustainable 21st-century jobs and for an effective transition from education to employment;

1.   Stresses that national and EU policy measures to boost youth employment should be coherent and mutually reinforcing, and should place a special focus on high-quality (vocational) education, training and providing work experience, thereby enabling young people to obtain stable employment of good quality; stresses that creating opportunities for fairly compensated internships and voluntary activities in the public interest can enable young people to engage in socially valuable activities and gain professional experience;

2.   Deplores the fact that the current crisis measures aimed at reducing public spending in the crisis countries have already had a direct negative impact on young people through cuts in education, employment creation and support services;

3.   Points out that young unemployed people come from a wide variety of groups and therefore have to be classified according to their needs and abilities if the measures taken are to be implemented to more useful effect; considers it necessary to identify the key competences that will enable these young people to enter the labour market more rapidly and on a more permanent and sustainable basis; believes that attention should be focused in particular on young people who have no qualifications and are not in education, employment, or training;

4.   Calls on the Commission, in cooperation with Member States where there is more than 25% youth unemployment in the regions, to develop a one-year relief plan to tackle youth unemployment by creating jobs for at least 10 % of the young people affected;

5.   Emphasises the need for active, comprehensive and integrated labour market policies aimed at job creation, with special measures for young people, so as on the one hand to avoid wasting available resources and on the other to lower youth unemployment, rather than merely ‘recycling’ it; calls on the Member States to check whether examples of best practices from other Member States could be applied to their own labour markets, and to draw on those measures which are suitable in their fight against youth unemployment; stresses the good experiences from countries with VET and dual-track education systems in improving the education-to-work transition, thus bridging the gap between training skills and labour market demands; emphasises that the Commission’s task is to give active support to such efforts, and calls on the Commission to report regularly on Member States' reform efforts with regard to vocational training systems; stresses that special attention should be paid to vulnerable groups at high risk of social exclusion, including NEETs;

6.   Calls on the Commission to collect success stories from the field of youth training and to publish them in the form of a handbook for use by other Member States;

7.   Calls on the Commission to produce an annual report on the reform of vocational training systems in the Member States, thereby making a long-term structural contribution to improving young people’s employability;

8.   Calls on the Commission to draw up qualitative guidelines for a modern dual education system, backed up by a list of broadly defined, non-academic key occupations in Europe;

9.   Emphasises the importance of improving quality standards and accessibility in higher education and VET; stresses also the importance of language learning in schools and in VET;

10. Stresses that the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, at local, regional, national and European levels, including social partners, employment services, training and education authorities, individual employers, NGOs, and in particular also student and youth organisations, is essential for the successful design, implementation and monitoring of a variety of measures to foster youth employment and employability in an integrated fashion; emphasises that measures to promote quality and sustainable youth employment must be flexible so as to meet the continuously evolving needs of the labour market; notes the need for flexible and at the same time reliable contractual relations, effective reintegration policies and modern social security systems; stresses that early careers guidance for young people, well before they finish basic secondary schooling, is particularly valuable since it requires parents and schools to improve the capacity to help and advise pupils in choosing their education and subsequent career;

11. Calls on the Member States to take measures to prioritise the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their educational programmes in order to meet expected future developments on the labour market;

12. Points out that collective bargaining plays a key role in fostering and improving the working conditions of young workers;

13. Recognises that investing in the right skills is an important factor in helping Member States innovate and regain their competiveness;

14. Calls the Member States to recognise the unprecedented challenges of the rapidly changing global economic environment, which both schoolteachers and university teachers are having to face; notes that a key factor for the successful education of young people and their employment prospects is the development of new skills and sets of competencies, innovative approaches and modern methods of teaching and learning;

15. Calls on the Member States to encourage and support the participation of young people and especially women, through education, civil society and quality youth initiatives, in democratic life, and to make use of both existing and new tools in order to contribute to policy development, thereby enhancing young people’s development, wellbeing and social inclusion;

16. Is deeply concerned at the budget cuts in the Member States in the area of education, training and youth policy, which could result in young people being locked out of both education and employment, and recalls that budget allocations for education and training are a necessary and invaluable investment in the future;

17. Calls for more vocational education and training for teaching staff, especially as regards modern teaching methods and the use of new technologies; points out that lifelong learning starts with early childhood education, and stresses that language skills above all must be promoted in an enjoyable way;

18. Highlights the role of the proposed EU Loan Guarantee Facility for full-time Master’s students in the EU and third countries in further facilitating youth mobility and contributing to multidimensional university ranking;

19. Considers that local needs and territorial specificities should be taken into account in order to enable the identification of jobs, in particular in innovative sectors such as green segments and social businesses, within the framework of integrated territorial development strategies;

20. Invites the Member States and regional and local authorities to set up integrated territorial development strategies, including training and employment components, starting with measures to avoid early school leaving, and to build employment pathways for young people;

21. Recognises the particularly difficult situation in certain regions where the level of unemployment among young people is above 25 %; welcomes the fact that EU support for youth employment will be further boosted through the proposed EU Youth Employment Initiative, with a maximum budget of EUR 8 billion over the seven-year period 2014-2020; stresses at the same time that, according to the ILO, EUR 21 billion would be needed to implement the Youth Guarantee effectively in the eurozone alone; agrees that the specific budget allocation for this employment initiative for young people and the corresponding allocation from the ESF should be frontloaded;

22. Emphasises the importance of immediate action to combat youth unemployment and long-term unemployment; emphasises, too, the need to get young people into long-term, sustainable, high-quality jobs;

23. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that national legislation affecting youth, and in particularly national legislation based on the Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC), is not used to discriminate against young employees' access to social benefits; believes that much more must be done to ensure that both employees and employers are aware of their rights and obligations under this legislation;

24. Calls on the Member States to update their regional development strategies so that they reflect measures to boost employment, including youth employment;

25. Welcomes the decision of the EPSCO Council on 28 February 2013 to agree on a Council recommendation on implementing a Youth Guarantee, and invites the Member States to take action to implement Youth Guarantee schemes in an ambitious manner at national level; calls for the extension of the target groups to include young people under the age of 30, including graduates and those leaving training systems without qualifications; stresses that the success of this measure will be highly dependent on a wide range of policies and framework conditions, such as adequate investment in education and training, infrastructure and capacity of employment services, availability of student and graduate places, and quality apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as general policies conducive to job creation; calls for an adequate follow-up through the Member States' National Reform Programmes and in the context of the European Semester to facilitate the monitoring, evaluation and continuous improvement of national Youth Guarantee schemes; stresses that Youth Guarantee schemes should be integrated within the broader framework of national active labour market policies ;

26. Informs the Member States that Parliament intends to monitor closely all Member State activities to make the Youth Guarantee a reality, and invites youth organisations to keep Parliament updated on their analysis of Member State actions;

27. Calls on the national parliaments, together with youth organisations, to hold their governments responsible for delivering on the Youth Guarantee, and to ensure that serious steps are taken to ensure that each young person (unemployed or having left formal education) will within four months receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship;

28. Stresses that efforts and funding aimed at implementing Youth Guarantee schemes should not discourage the structural efforts and reforms that are required to make the education systems and labour markets in some Member States fit for the challenges of the future;

29. Calls on the Commission to provide in its programmes for measures aimed specifically at tackling youth unemployment, following an integrated global approach consistent with ‘Youth on the Move’, a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy;

30. Reminds the Commission and the Member States of their commitment to the Europe 2020 targets of 75 % employment for both women and men, and warns that the current level of youth unemployment could exclude a generation of women from the labour market, increasing their invisibility and vulnerability;

31. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to monitor and disclose all data relating to policies to combat youth unemployment (including implementation of the Youth Guarantee), producing regional statistics for the different Member States and devoting particular attention to the gender aspect;

32. Encourages the Commission and the Member States to develop clear quality standards and indicators regarding the development of national Youth Guarantee schemes, as well as to boost their support for all actors essential to delivering Youth Guarantee schemes, such as national social partners, local and regional authorities, employment services and education and training authorities; calls for Youth Guarantee schemes to be facilitated through financial incentives, including incentives in public procurement, and funding for on-site training, which will support enterprises in making high-quality sustainable employment and training offers which will represent an effective and targeted investment in young people’s potential ; stresses that enterprises have a particular responsibility to make such offers available;

33. Calls on the Commission and the Member States, in cooperation with youth stakeholders and with Parliament, to develop a plan of action on youth employment identifying short- term, medium-term and long-term measures; regrets that in the current debate long-term measures are being presented as short-term solutions; stresses that in the short term the focus should be on immediate crisis relief, for those both outside and inside the labour market, with a focus on securing a living income as well as options on the labour market; stresses that investments in education and training, job creation, apprenticeship schemes and incentives geared towards employers are mainly medium-term but also long-term measures which need to be firmly agreed between all actors and upheld for a minimum of five years; stresses that, especially, constructing a system of dual education, apprenticeships, training on the job and integration of young persons into the labour market are long-term measures which need a longer-term commitment than hitherto;

34. Recommends that in Member States with a dual vocational training system there should be an ‘alternative apprenticeship’ scheme, and thus a Youth Guarantee scheme, in the form of vocational training with more than one employer for young people under the age of 18 who cannot obtain an apprenticeship; in countries without dual vocational training, steps should be taken to implement an appropriately adapted system;

35. Stresses that different age groups require different approaches to address employment issues, focusing on entry into the job market for younger age groups and on improving job security and social security for older age groups;

36. Invites the Commission and the Member States to foster rapprochement between the worlds of work and education so that training paths such as dual training can be designed that combine theoretical notions with practical experience, in order to equip young people with the requisite general skills and specific expertise; invites the Commission and the Member States also to invest in support for an awareness campaign on vocational training (VET) and technical and entrepreneurial studies;

37. Calls on the European institutions to set a good example by removing their advertisements for unpaid traineeships from their respective websites and to pay a minimum allowance based on the cost of living in the place where the internship is performed;

38. Calls on the Member States to establish new inclusive and targeted labour-market policies that secure the respectful inclusion and meaningful occupation of young people, e.g. through the setting-up of inspirational networks, traineeship arrangements that include financial aid enabling the trainee to relocate and live close to the place where the traineeship is held, international career centres, and youth centres for individual guidance covering, particularly, matters such as collective organisation and knowledge of legal aspects relating to their traineeship;

39. Calls on the Member States to draw up, in cooperation with all relevant actors and stakeholders, further specific outreach strategies targeted on NEETs, which should combine effective forms of reintegration of early school-leavers back into education or work; calls, therefore, on the Member States to present, in the framework of the European Semester, proposals as to how they will make progress in better integrating NEETs via the Youth Guarantee and other instruments; stresses the need to increase the employability and participation of young people by boosting lifelong learning and making social security schemes both more inclusive and activating; calls for the removal of the practical and logistical barriers faced by young people having more complex needs or with disabilities when entering the labour market;

40. Calls on the Member States to intensify their efforts to reduce early school leaving in order to achieve the goal set out in the EU 2020 strategy of a dropout rate no higher than 10 % by 2012; invites the Member States to make use of a wide range of measures to fight early school leaving and illiteracy, e.g. reducing class sizes, providing assistance for pupils who cannot afford to complete their compulsory education, increasing the emphasis on practical aspects in the syllabus, introducing mentors in all schools and establishing an immediate follow-up of early school leavers; points to the example of Finland, which has succeeded in reducing the number of early school leavers by studying together with pupils the possibilities of seeking a new direction; invites the Commission to coordinate a project on best practices;

41. Notes that play-based early-years education can put children on the right track for successful schooling, and highlights the prime importance, in this context in particular, of initial training and specialised further training for teachers;

42. Urges the Member States, given the exceptional social conditions created by the crisis, to draw up a strategy to provide incentives – including financial incentives – for pupils from vulnerable groups to complete their secondary education;

43. Emphasises the importance of having a quality public network of student residences;

44. Supports the establishment of the Erasmus for All Programme with a separate chapter for youth as well as a corresponding separate budget allocation, including increased support for those who are active in youth work, both institutionalised and non-institutionalised; is of the opinion that acquiring skills, in particular transversal skills (e.g. in ICT and languages), for example by studying, working or volunteering abroad, can promote young people’s active participation in society and therefore European integration, and can improve their prospects on the labour market, as well as workers’ mobility in general throughout the Union;

45. Stresses the key role that should be played by the European Social Fund in combating youth unemployment, and calls on the Member States and all operational programmes’ managing authorities to ensure that measures aimed at achieving this goal are included;

46. Calls on the Member States to implement the measures set out in their national Youth Guarantee Schemes, taking into account a gender perspective at all stages of the preparation, programming and implementation of these measures; calls on the Member States to set up employment centres, with suitably trained staff, that are able to implement effective awareness-raising policies and provide specific arrangements for women, also to avoid long-term unemployment and the risk of social exclusion;

47. Stresses that making the Youth Guarantee a reality requires respect for collective wage bargaining and the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value;

48. Underlines the importance of young people learning general skills such as ICT, leadership, critical thinking, language skills and entrepreneurial skills, including through periods of study abroad, in order to improve their prospects on the job market and their ability to adapt to future labour market developments; calls on the Member States to give added importance to such skills in their educational curricula;

49. Recognises the difficulties young people encounter in setting up and developing their own business; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support young entrepreneurs and young self-employed people by facilitating and simplifying access to finance, reducing administrative burdens, addressing bankruptcy laws, and creating overall preferential conditions which should include efficient counselling and mentoring and providing business incubators;

50. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take such measures as are necessary to encourage, promote and support business start-ups and self-employment of young women by providing them with training, counselling and easier access to credit and microcredit offering favourable terms and fiscal facilities, in particularly for SMEs;

51. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take such measures as are necessary to counteract the stereotype that entrepreneurship is a risky and male-dominated activity; stresses that, in order to strengthen women’s overall position on the labour market and promote entrepreneurship more effectively, measures should be taken to support regional and international cooperation between female entrepreneurs and to encourage the creation of networks of platforms for the exchange of experience and best practices;

52. Welcomes, in the context of promoting self-employment among young people, the proposed successor to the Progress Microfinance Facility included in the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) for the period 2014-2020, in order to better meet demand, also among young people starting up small businesses, including university students' start-ups; welcomes the commitment of the EIB to pay particular attention to investments that improve opportunities for young people to gain access to productive jobs; stress that all three axes of the EaSI programme provide ways of combating youth unemployment;

53. Highlights that, while the internet economy creates 2.6 jobs for every ‘offline’ job lost, it is important that young people turn e-skills in programming, design or social marketing into jobs, using available European and national funding;

54. Calls for an ambitious and holistic policy approach - at European and national level alike - which looks at education, training, quality employment and self-employment and labour mobility initiatives, for all young people at all the various levels, in an integrated way; urges the Member States to engage in broad consultations with universities and other educational institutions, with a view to better adapting their education and training curricula to the needs of the labour market; in view of the forthcoming programming period 2014-2020, invites the Commission to make a comprehensive analysis of the EU programmes and the financial sources invested in education, training and tackling youth unemployment in the programming period 2007-2013, and to report on the matter to Parliament and the Council; stresses that youth unemployment is linked to low economic growth in most Member States; stresses therefore the urgent need to prioritise job-friendly forms of growth that will also benefit young people, and to address the structural barriers to young people’s entry into the labour market;

55. Calls on the Commission to put forward a proposal for a European Youth Corps programme, with the aim of enabling young people under the age of 30 across Europe to do voluntary work in another Member State than their own for up to three months; stresses that the idea of such a European Youth Corps is to give young people the chance to use and upgrade their educational and social skills, increase their knowledge of another Member State, and promote friendship and integration across the EU; emphasises that Youth Corps work must be voluntary and unpaid and may not replace existing jobs in the visited country; believes that such a Youth Corps should be conceived in terms of a public-private partnership aimed at setting up a programme under which young people can receive an individual grant covering travel and living expenses for a period of up to three months;

56. Considers that education and/or training establishments should arrange extracurricular placements so as to provide students with experience in their chosen field as a means of consolidating their knowledge and forging links with the workplace;

57. Calls on the Member States to improve cooperation and strengthen partnerships between businesses and the educational sector at all levels, with the aim of linking curricula more closely to the demands of the labour market, for example by extending Sector Skills Alliances and Knowledge Alliances;

58. Emphasises the importance of enhancing VET quality with the aim of striking the right balance between education and labour market demand; considers that the promotion of VET should not be done at the expense of higher education; stresses that the interaction between VET and higher education and the opening of pathways from VET to higher education need to be improved; stresses that more flexible curricula are needed in order to facilitate young people’s access to the labour market and improve adaptation to future labour market developments;

59. Calls on the Commission to propose a Quality Framework for Traineeships, building on its earlier proposal for a European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships(14), including a definition of quality traineeships with criteria for appropriate compensation, working conditions and health and safety standards; calls on the Member States and the social partners to ensure adequate quality standards for traineeships, making sure that traineeships are tailored to the needs of young people to develop relevant skills, backed up by mandatory monitoring, as well as to ensure quality standards for work placements, inter alia with a view to preventing the exploitation of young people as cheap substitute labour; stresses that active promotion and awareness-raising in respect of such standards are needed;

60. Calls on the Member States to pay particular attention to high youth unemployment rates among migrants, giving priority to integration into the labour market and the mainstreaming of integration policies, as employment is the key to successful integration; stresses that the difficulties encountered by young migrants in obtaining career guidance should be taken into account and that the integration of young migrants into society and the labour market should be monitored and evaluated;

61. Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the European social partners to take on board an ambitious approach to developing the Alliance for Apprenticeship which will be launched in July 2013, and also to support European, national, regional and local campaigns for changing perceptions of vocational education; believes the Alliance should organise a regular discussion forum on the monitoring of the European apprenticeship strategy with all relevant European, national, regional and local stakeholders; stresses that access to funding should be provided to facilitate crossborder training activities that enable companies and social partner organisations to become involved in establishing dual education systems;

62. Calls on the Member States, in agreement with the Commission, to establish measures and concessions for apprenticeship contracts and bonuses for business start-ups by young people aged under 35;

63. Emphasises the need to enhance the framework of social partnership and social responsibility of companies and firms, so as to enable them to better incorporate the Charter of Good Quality Internships and Apprenticeships as well as the Youth Guarantee;

64. Calls on the Commission and the Member States, when making decisions relating to the 2014-2020 programming period, to lay down more stringent and quantifiable criteria concerning the setting, monitoring and evaluation of Structural Fund objectives, with specific targets relating to the fight against youth unemployment, which should also be measurable in terms of gender (in the period 2007-2011, 52 % of Structural Fund beneficiaries were women);

65. Invites the Commission to consider a further adaptation of the ESF in order to provide additional support in the areas of training for young women, access to employment and childcare;

66. Believes that in bolstering and supplementing Member States’ efforts to revitalise economic activity and foster employment across their territory EU cohesion policy represents a fundamental tool with which the Union can help overcome the present situation, guiding and shaping the implementation of the necessary structural reforms, concentrating investment on priority actions in order to maximise the impact of investment on the socio-economic situation of a region or Member State, stimulating the economy, and helping create new jobs among young people; calls, therefore, on the Member States to make full and coordinated use of the available EU funding (ERDF, ESF, CF, EAFRD and EMFF), thus enabling young people to play an active part in the economy and society; stresses that account should be taken of regional specificities, given that they may dictate the success or failure of young people’s initiatives, throughout the EU and in particular in the most disadvantaged and outermost regions, where investment is necessary to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion;

67. Encourages the Member States to foster employment opportunities for young people locally, and to complement this by facilitating the mobility of young workers who want it to other EU countries or beyond(15); calls for measures to enhance their training and experience, including the removal of existing barriers to crossborder apprenticeships, traineeships and internships; wishes to see further progress on the mutual recognition of qualifications and skills and enhanced coordination of national social security systems, especially as regards pension systems, as well as continued substantial investment in language learning from an early age;

68. Calls on the Member States to continue the process of reform and development of effective public employment services so as to better target their activities and approaches on young people, as a fundamental component of any national Youth Guarantee strategies; stresses the need to introduce reforms to EURES with the aim of proactively matching jobseekers and job-changers to existing vacancies, as well as with the aim of raising awareness of EURES, including its advisory network, and increasing its visibility and availability, as a career advice system that helps students become more aware of existing job opportunities; highlights the need for closer coordination between EURES and other portals and services for citizens and business (examples being ‘EURES my first job’, the Europe Direct information points or the European Enterprise Network for SMEs), in order to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness on the part of the services provided; welcomes the work of the Heads of Public Employment Services (HoPES), and supports its institutionalisation;

69. Calls on the Member States, in the absence of specific figures on youth migration flows, to create mechanisms for the research, monitoring and evaluation of such mobility that can be transferred to EURES in order to better address such phenomena;

70. Stresses, in addition, the importance of raising young people’s awareness regarding use of the counselling offered in the framework of the public employment services, strengthening partnerships with schools and universities, and working towards better integration with the EURES network;

71. Calls on the Member States to properly recognise and validate informal and non-formal learning and education and acquired competences, along with other professional experience, as a form of valorising competences so that young people can provide fuller evidence of their education and competences in relation to the requirements for successfully entering the labour market;

72. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement transparency and harmonisation in the recognition of qualifications within the Union, in particular through the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training, Europass and the European Qualifications Framework, to fully implement the Council recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal education, and especially to secure the crossborder recognition of non-formal and informal learning; stresses the importance of implementing and reporting on these initiatives in a timely fashion;

73. Stresses that the problem of ‘brain waste’ needs to be addressed, since having highly qualified and skilled young people working far below their potential results in non-use of their actual skills and qualifications, while at the same time having negative effects on them in social and psychological terms;

74. Recognises that crossborder labour mobility can in part be an effective solution to match labour demand and labour supply across the Union; calls on the Member States, at the same time, to take all necessary action to prevent the phenomenon of ‘brain drain’ through sustainable measures which ensure employment opportunities for highly-skilled workers in their own Member State or region;

75. Identifies the education-to-work transition as a crucial moment for young people; stresses the importance of measures favouring a secure transition; calls, therefore, on the Member States to develop personalised career counselling, and to strengthen guidance and advisory measures, as well as placement services tailored to the individual’s needs, starting already in the first years of secondary school, with the aim of enabling young people to make well-informed choices about their future education or vocational training, while introducing mechanisms that can monitor the opportunities offered and assess the success rate of those young people’s subsequent transition to work;

76. Stresses the need to introduce a system encouraging all undertakings of a certain size to offer traineeships under a dual training scheme unless they are in major financial difficulty, and to recruit trainees at the end of their traineeships;

77. Calls on the Member States to ensure that young people can, if they so wish, receive effective assistance in choosing their career and finding out about their rights and their minimum income;

78. Calls on the Member States to ensure that basic training in job-seeking skills is incorporated into university courses;

79. Believes that education systems in the EU should promote the principle of fair and equal opportunities; calls for all the necessary skills to be fostered with a view to facilitating access to lifelong learning, a sine qua non in the knowledge society;

80. Emphasises that all financial resources invested in actively combating youth unemployment should be spent effectively; calls on the Member States to introduce a monitoring and evaluation system for employment measures implemented, which should be public and easy for citizens to access, as well as a system of verification of the effectiveness of those measures, with a view to working increasingly towards evidence-based policies that can also be shared at EU level; in this regard, notes that the establishment of a common system of result and impact indicators would contribute to the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the progress achieved under the different programmes;

81. Emphasises that youth organisations should have a recognised role in the monitoring and, where applicable, implementation of policies and initiatives aimed at addressing youth unemployment;

82. Stresses the need to invest in the creation of ‘green jobs’ that are stable and are quality jobs, as a means of allowing young people to have a decent life; calls, furthermore, on the Commission and the Member States to mobilise all available funds to stimulate investment in particular in ‘green jobs’, with a view to combating the unacceptably high rate of youth unemployment;

83. Takes the view that more attractive teaching strategies are needed, with better regional insertion and the creation of networks of platforms for the exchange of experiences and good practices between regions and Member States, taking account of varying situations and allowing flexibility in line with each region’s specific needs and characteristics, defining priority areas for the development of each region;

84. Calls on the Member States to implement measures addressing gender inequalities that are suitable for taking into account vulnerable social groups, including persons with disabilities, migrants and single mothers;

85. Calls on the Member States to pursue policies to encourage the presence of women in sectors and careers where they are under-represented, such as the field of science and technology (in 2009, only 33 % of research scientists in the EU were women) and the economic and financial sector, since choosing such paths would make women more competitive on the labour market;

86. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to combat gender segregation, both in education and in the labour market, by identifying specific education and training courses and tuition based on continuous follow-up, abiding by the conclusions set out in the Commission communication of 28 November 2012 entitled ‘Rethinking Education’ (COM(2012)0669), combining education and training policies with targeted employment policies for young women, and promoting and providing incentives for the employment of women in strategic development sectors;

87. Calls on the Member States to promote young women’s access to the labour market, take measures enabling women to remain employed while they focus on pursuing quality employment and professional growth, and close the gaps with regard to entering the labour market, careers and pay that have always characterised the relationship between women and men in the workplace;

88. Takes the view that helping women to return to the labour market requires multidimensional policy solutions incorporating lifelong learning and action to combat precarious work and promote work with rights and differentiated work organisation practices, at the woman’s request, so that women do not have to give up their careers or take career breaks;

89. Calls on the Member States to develop appropriate policies in full compliance with European and national legislation, and to introduce specific measures, including work-focused training and employment programmes, to ensure equal opportunities for both young men and young women in gaining actual work experience;

90. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop and implement gender mainstreaming and monitoring policies that enable access for unemployed citizens to recruitment and social support services;

91. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0262.

(2)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0224.

(3)

O-000106/2012; B7-0113/2012.

(4)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0007.

(5)

OJ C 131 E, 8.5.2013, p. 9.

(6)

Eurofound (2012), NEETs: young people not in employment, education or training: characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

(7)

Eurofound (2012), Effectiveness of policy measures to increase the employment participation of young people, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg

(8)

Eurofound (2011), Helping young workers during the crisis: contributions by social partners and public authorities, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

(9)

Eurofound (2012) Recent policy developments related to those not in employment, education and training (NEETs), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/docs/erm/tn1109042s/tn1109042s.pdf)

(10)

Eurofound (2013) Active inclusion of young people with disabilities or health problems, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/htmlfiles/ef1226.htm)

(11)

Eurofound (2012), ‘NEETs – Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe’. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

(12)

Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, January 2012.

(13)

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-380_en.htm?locale=fr

(14)

COM(2012)0728

(15)

By initiatives like the MobiPro Programme


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Young people are currently facing a very difficult situation in the labour market. The unemployment rate for all people of working age is around 11%, whereas for young people it is twice as high (23%). Currently, in the whole of the European Union, over 5.5 million people under the age of 25 are unemployed. There are, however, tremendous differences between countries: while youth unemployment in Germany and Austria is below 9%, in crisis-stricken Greece and Spain the figure is over 55%. The economic crisis which affected and is still affecting EU countries to a greater or lesser extent has meant that not only are there no new jobs, but employers seeking to make savings are cutting back on existing employment. Most frequently, and in the largest numbers, it is people employed on fixed-term contracts and those performing work not based on an employment contract who are let go, i.e. typically young people who are entering, or have recently entered, the labour market. Statistics for Europe as a whole show that young people account for 40% of those employed on temporary contracts, but make up just 13% of total employment. In addition there are the problems of lack of experience and qualifications not matching labour market requirements. All together this makes for a less than optimistic outlook for a young person entering adulthood. A lack of work and of any indication of imminent change in the poor prospects for young people is reflected in a worsening demographic situation in Europe. Young people are putting off until some future date any decision to start a family and have children, as their employment future is so uncertain.

Therefore, action to tackle youth unemployment must be coordinated with action to stimulate general economic recovery and employment policy reform. Initiatives are needed to promote entrepreneurship and to retain as many existing jobs as possible, and measures should also be taken to encourage entrepreneurs to create new jobs. Real improvement in the situation of young people depends to a large extent on state support and improved cooperation between employment services, careers advisory services, training institutions and youth support services, including the active participation of the social partners and representatives of young people and youth organisations.

The EPSCO Council's adoption of a Youth Guarantee will provide an important political impetus. The aim of the initiative is to provide young people under the age of 25 with employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or training. Given the clear statistical evidence highlighting the structure of unemployment among young people, the age limit for recipients of this support should be raised to 30. The money provided for this purpose from a separate budget allocation and from the European Social Fund will give real support to Member States in these difficult times. Particular attention should also be paid to the important elements needed to ensure that the initiative proves successful, such as having an appropriate operational structure, the effectiveness of public and private employment services and the provision of high quality training and apprenticeships.

All these activities must be linked to an increase in support for enterprises and third-sector organisations wishing to participate in the Youth Guarantee scheme, in close cooperation with public employment services, through tax incentives, subsidies for fixed employment costs and the possibility of accessing funding to support companies providing high-quality training. It is important that Member States are not restricted to the solutions set out in the Commission proposal, but can also apply instruments whose effectiveness has been tested in other Member States and which allow for better adaptation to the specific characteristics of individual labour markets.

Discussion of the situation of young people must not ignore the so-called NEETs (people not in education, employment or training). The percentage of NEETS in Europe has risen in recent years, and currently stands above 1.5%. This phenomenon should be looked at more closely, especially as those who abandon education without even basic qualifications are condemning themselves to social exclusion. Member States should develop a more specific approach to NEETs, combining effective intervention, consisting of tackling early school-leaving and reintegration of early school-leavers, with measures to facilitate the transition from school to work, increase the employability of young people and remove the practical and logistical barriers faced by young people with more complex needs.

Undoubtedly, as well as a lack of vocational experience one of the most important reasons for high youth unemployment is qualifications not matching the requirements of the labour market. For this reason, education needs to be modernised by transforming education policy into a basic instrument for investing in the future of young people and improving their situation in the labour market by adapting the school curriculum to current and future labour market needs. A system of individual careers counselling will be helpful in achieving this goal. It should already be available in secondary school, together with a system for monitoring future job offers with a view to ensuring subsequent employability, so that young people can make more enlightened and better considered choices concerning the direction of their further education.

One important element in the policy for introducing young people to the labour market is to promote self-employment. All actions aimed at developing entrepreneurial, independent initiatives and developing individual talents should be continued and supported. Young people should know how to set up their own business and where they can find help with administration. The system of benefits and preferential conditions in the form of tax exemptions or reliefs should encourage them to do so. That is why it is vital that the idea of ​​supporting self-employment and providing help to obtain start-up funds is continued in the Programme for Change and Innovation 2014-2020.

Job mobility is another way to tackle unemployment among young people. There are over a million registered job offers in the EU, yet the positions remain vacant because in the places where they are available there is a lack of people interested in them. Living outside one's own country is not popular. Only 2% of EU citizens live in a country other than their country of origin. But given that young people have a greater tendency and ability to move in search of work, it should be made easy for them to do so. Further progress towards the mutual recognition of qualifications and skills, coordination of national social security systems, in particular the pension system, and substantial investment in language learning are essential elements of mobility support. Continued reform of the EURES network, through which young people have access to information and can actively seek jobs, is one element. This needs to be further promoted in order to increase its visibility and availability, along with improving the careers advice system.

Also worth stressing is the creation within the Erasmus for All programme of a separate chapter for youth, with a separate budget allocation, together with support for groups of young people who are active in youth work but not in an institutionalised fashion. Acquiring a variety of skills, including in an informal way, will promote the participation of young people in society and improve their competitiveness in the labour market.

It is extremely important to provide young people with high-quality traineeships, to give adequate financial support to traineeship organisers, and to introduce compulsory monitoring of the system which ensures that traineeships, and their effectiveness, are maintained at an appropriate level. What is needed is continued strong promotion of traineeships among employers, who should treat the system as an opportunity to prepare a person for a specific job, and hence as an opportunity to recruit and retain a trained, well-qualified worker. Support should also be given to further developing vocational education. European and national campaigns should be organised to promote vocational education and the European apprenticeship strategy should be monitored.

It is also very important for Member States to recognise and validate non-formal education, i.e. skills acquired outside the formal education system. These skills can make a positive contribution to the personal development of a young person, increase their active citizenship, strengthen their social integration and enhance their employability.

The issue of ‘brain waste’ also needs to be addressed, i.e. the problem of having highly qualified and skilled young people working far below their potential, which has negative effects on them in social and psychological terms.

In conclusion, all action taken by Member States should be analysed in terms of its effectiveness and any mechanisms introduced should be monitored as they evolve. The funds spent should be effectively accounted for. The very difficult situation facing young people requires decisive intervention and investment of appropriate financial resources, but in the current economic situation in Europe, with the prevailing policy of financial consolidation, those funds must be properly targeted and bring about a visible improvement in the situation.


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (21.6.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out

(2013/2045(INI))

Rapporteur: Luís Paulo Alves

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Is concerned at the unacceptable level of youth unemployment and, in particular, the considerable asymmetries in youth unemployment from one region to another and between the Member States, with variations from less than 10% to over 60%; is also concerned at the number of young people not in education, training or employment (14 million NEETS between the ages of 15 and 30), in addition to the precarious employment affecting a further large group of young people who do have a job; takes the view that these situations combined undermine the existence of the European project, endangering the economic development and viability of a Europe united in its quality of life and working conditions, and its future economic growth potential, as well as the EU’s economic, social and territorial cohesion, as defined under Article 174 TFEU; takes the view also that this calls for effective measures at EU, national, regional and local level, including with regard to cities and rural areas, especially in view of the difficulties and challenges currently facing the EU and the fact that it more than ever needs a strong and innovative youth;

2.  Takes the view that, owing to their socio-economic characteristics, young people constitute one of the most vulnerable groups in the Union in relation to employment, particularly in the current situation of economic and financial crisis, given the importance of having a large number of young people on the labour market and given the fact that they face the most serious employment problems; believes that, by bolstering and supplementing Member States’ efforts to revitalise economic activity and foster employment across their territory, EU cohesion policy represents a fundamental tool with which the Union can help overcome the present situation, guiding and shaping the implementation of the necessary structural reforms, concentrating investment on priority actions in order to maximise the impact of investment on the socio-economic situation of a region or a Member State, stimulating the economy and helping create new jobs among young people; calls, therefore, on the Member States to make full and coordinated use of available EU funding (ERDF, ESF, CF, EAFRD and EMFF), allowing young people to take an active part in the economy and society for their benefit while, among other things, supporting young entrepreneurs through a Europe-wide business incubator project allowing them to start up their companies in a protected environment; recommends, in addition, that suitable conditions for venture capitals should be created, and stresses that account should be taken of regional specificities, given that they may dictate the success or failure of young people’s initiatives, throughout the EU and in particular in the most disadvantaged and outermost regions, where investment is necessary to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion;

3.  Emphasises that, above and beyond the economic crisis affecting Europe, there are, among other things, structural issues deriving from education and employment policy which need to be improved; takes the view that more attractive teaching strategies are needed, with better regional insertion and the creation of networks of platforms for the exchange of experiences and good practices between regions and Member States, taking account of varying situations and allowing flexibility in line with each region’s specific needs and characteristics, defining priority areas for the development of each region and promoting the use of more efficient strategies for transition to active life (with strong links between school and work, in particular through dual education systems or traineeships in subject areas during study time) and the creation of more secure career paths; stresses the alarming consequences of the economic crisis for the situation in which young people find themselves; calls on the Member States to avoid major cuts in important areas such as education, research and innovation as – together with the other negative effects of the economic and financial crisis – these cuts represent a serious obstacle to combating youth unemployment and prevent future investment strategies focused on young people;

4.  Understands – given that the employment market is characterised by the disappearance and creation of jobs in various economic sectors and that 15 % of jobs cease to exist every year and as many again are created – that a global approach is appropriate to anticipate changes as part of a truly effective employment policy; considers it essential to devise qualification policies that can effectively promote efforts relating to lifelong training by facilitating high-quality professional readjustment and the start-to-finish tailoring of skills to business and enterprise needs in all regions; underlines in this context the importance of closing the gap between education and the labour market and stresses the mismatch between educational skills and today’s jobs, and the importance of implementing measures to protect and support the unemployed while they are looking for new opportunities; takes the view that the measures taken should be closely linked in order to help boost and promote productivity and private and public investment in sectors with a high growth potential, and to prevent further labour shortages in occupations that are already in deficit;

5.  Encourages the Member States and regional and local authorities to increase the effectiveness of education and employment policies, which should be based on three fundamental aspects:

     –   a forward-looking approach, in order to better anticipate changes in the labour market and link them with education and training,

     –   greater involvement of all relevant public and private actors, such as teachers, parents, students, enterprises, schools and youth organisations, including NGOs,

     –   a regional approach that provides for mechanisms to better identify problems, ensure that decision-making is more efficient and provide a clear view of training needs in close cooperation with those concerned;

     considers that local needs and territorial specificities should be taken into account to enable an identification of jobs, in particular in innovative sectors, such as green segments and social businesses, within the framework of integrated territorial development strategies;

6.  Calls for joint action by the European funds, in particular the instruments of cohesion policy, the ESF and ERDF, to stimulate investments for growth and jobs and to find an urgent answer to this worrying situation; points out that SMEs are the engine of Europe, the cornerstone of employment and the main actor for bringing the crisis to an end; considers it necessary, therefore, to provide them with better access to financing and to the business environment in which they operate; encourages the European Investment Bank to invest in job creation for young people, counting on spin-off benefits, provided that it grants loans primarily to SMEs; calls for particular attention to be given to all those regions hardest hit by youth unemployment and emphasises that European structural and investment funds can help companies, especially SMEs, hiring young people and reducing youth unemployment and also take the measures necessary for the labour market, education and training in order to support workers’ transition to the local employment markets as they acquire new skills and jobs (including green jobs, jobs required as a result of demographic trends, new technologies, and the diversification of employment in rural areas); invites the Member States and regional and local authorities to set up integrated territorial development strategies, including training and employment components, starting with measures to avoid early school leaving, and to build employment pathways for young people;

7.  Welcomes the Commission’s measures to combat youth unemployment which should, alongside the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative and, especially, the Youth Guarantee and in line with the EU 2020 Strategy, seek to put forward solutions to encourage the creation of decent, high-quality and sustainable jobs and equal opportunities for young people, promoting social inclusion, reducing job insecurity and the risk of poverty, giving young people a sense of dignity and an independent life and fighting the brain drain; –considers that such measures should also encourage and strengthen existing mobility programmes and better recognition of skills and qualifications within the EU, and promote increased cross-border and inter-regional cooperation while limiting existing administrative obstacles and removing the current barriers for apprenticeships, traineeships and internships to better combat geographical mismatches between supply and demand of jobs as part of a roadmap for the future of a more economically, socially and territorially cohesive economic and monetary union; calls for the Member States and regional and local authorities to quickly implement the measures drawn up under the Youth Guarantee Scheme, and to promote exchanges of successful models that have resulted in positive trends in terms of reducing youth unemployment, in particular among the NEETS group; notes, however, that funding to fight youth unemployment is inadequate, and stresses that the proposed EUR 6 billion funding for the 2014-2020 EU Youth Employment Initiative is not sufficient to have any significant impact on the situation of young people.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.6.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

4

0

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Francesca Barracciu, Jean-Jacob Bicep, Victor Boştinaru, John Bufton, Alain Cadec, Nikos Chrysogelos, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Brice Hortefeux, Danuta Maria Hübner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Vincenzo Iovine, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Vladimír Maňka, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Ana Miranda, Jens Nilsson, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Markus Pieper, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Monika Smolková, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Giommaria Uggias

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Susy De Martini, Miroslav Ouzký, Marit Paulsen


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (20.6.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out

(2013/2045(INI))

Rapporteur: Emilio Menéndez del Valle

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas education and training policies play a crucial role in combating the high level of youth unemployment; whereas keeping up with a rapidly evolving labour market requires more and more targeted investment in vocational education and training (VET), higher education and research, as well as flexible curricula and improved cooperation between businesses and the educational sector;

B.  whereas dual education systems are dependent on close cooperation between the public and private sectors, with a high degree of involvement of the social partners; whereas Member States with highly institutionalised interaction between the education system and the labour market have strikingly low levels of youth unemployment;

C. whereas traineeships are a useful instrument for facilitating and encouraging the transition by young people from the education system to the labour market; whereas a traineeship must be based on a training strategy, traineeships are regularly misused by employers to recruit cheap workers who have little protection, and more and more young Europeans often have to accept several traineeships which are either unpaid or underpaid before they can obtain permanent employment;

D. whereas the financial crisis has worsened, and budget cuts and other austerity policies, especially in the economically more fragile Member States, have undermined teaching standards and have had a direct adverse impact on young people’s prospects for gaining access to and remaining in education and employment; whereas, in addition, there is a high tax burden on the business world in many Member States;

E.  whereas, in 2011, 7.5 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 and 6.5 million young people between the ages of 25 and 30 were not in education, employment or training (NEET); whereas Member States have to provide a social safety net and guarantee decent living conditions for workers who become unemployed and for young people unable to find work;

F.  whereas the European Investment Bank (EIB) can provide funding for investments in countries whose youth unemployment rates are above the EU average; whereas the EIB could have a regional focus in strategic investments for improving and expanding employment opportunities and for developing innovation capacities;

G. whereas taking account of the requirements of the labour market should not preclude children from acquiring the broadest possible foundation of knowledge, as that is the best way of ensuring they will be able to adapt to the vagaries of the employment market and of life in general; whereas most studies demonstrate the importance of providing good-quality education from the earliest school years as a means of preventing early school-leaving and ensuring that children from the most disadvantaged social backgrounds are fully integrated into school life;

H. whereas open educational resources improve the quality, accessibility and equity of education and facilitate an interactive, creative, flexible and personalised learning process through the use of ICT and new technologies; whereas open education enhances sustained employability by supporting lifelong learning;

I.   whereas early school leaving seriously hampers the economic and social development of the Union, and integrated measures are needed in order to achieve the Europe 2020 strategy objective of reducing the early school leaving rate to below 10%; whereas early school leavers are more often unemployed and at risk of social exclusion; whereas the development of back-to-school programmes offering early-leavers a second chance should take particular account of vulnerable groups at high risk of social exclusion with a view to encouraging them to play an active part in society;

J.   whereas both school and university teachers face unprecedented challenges arising from the rapidly changing global economic environment, in which the development of new skills and competencies, innovative approaches and modern teaching methods is key to ensuring effective youth education and employability;

K. whereas EU mobility programmes in the field of education and youth, and early foreign language learning, boost job prospects and encourage labour market mobility; whereas youth mobility programmes for 2014-2020 should provide genuine opportunities for learning and the acquisition of skills, thereby helping to increase youth employment rates;

L.  whereas, with a view to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, a comprehensive analysis of EU funds invested in education, training and tackling youth unemployment during the 2007-2013 programme period is needed; whereas an integrated approach and synergy effect between the various programmes and the resources from national and EU funding will contribute to the successful implementation of youth employment measures; whereas it is also necessary to take up EU policies at local and national level and carry them into effect on the ground;

M. whereas, despite high overall levels of youth unemployment, certain sectors such as information and communication technologies (ICT), research and development (R&D) and health care are experiencing increasing difficulty in filling vacancies with qualified personnel;

1.  Is strongly concerned at the budget cuts by Member States in the field of education, training and youth which might cause that young people will be locked out in both education and employment, and recalls that budget allocations to education and training are a necessary and invaluable investment for the future; draws attention to the need for EU funding to be channelled more effectively towards job creation for young people;

2.  Encourages the Member States to target NEETs with the Commission’s support in order to offer them quality learning and training provision so that they can gain the skills and experience they need to enter employment or re-enter the educational system through courses designed to take account of their difficulties;

3.  Calls on the Member States to take all the necessary measures to prevent early school leaving, lower the drop-out level and ensure second-chance education of the highest possible standard which will reduce the number of most vulnerable NEETs on long-term unemployment;

4.  Stresses the need to ensure education and training for all, draws attention to the important role played by the regions in training, employment and mobility policy, and calls on the regions to use all the means at their disposal to facilitate young people’s access to employment and help them to diversify their skill base;

5.  Calls for more vocational education and training for teaching staff, especially as regards modern teaching methods and the use of new technologies; points out that lifelong learning starts with early childhood education and stresses that language skills above all must be promoted in a fun way;

6.  Calls on the Member States and the relevant institutions to promote sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics in their educational programmes in order to meet current labour market demands;

7.  Calls for the establishment of a common system of result and impact indicators to evaluate the progress achieved under the different programmes, including employment measures, in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency and not only of their financial implementation;

8.  Calls on the Member States to foster youth participation in shaping sectoral policies, with regard to their development; believes that enabling young people to be real participants and not only observers and/or beneficiaries in the processes will contribute to giving youth policy-making added legitimacy and value;

9.  Calls for an increased use of high-quality dual education systems which combine theoretical and practical teaching; stresses the importance of involvement of the social partners in building up these systems; calls on the Commission to draw up qualitative guidelines for a modern dual education system, backed up by a list of broadly defined, non-academic European key occupations;

10. Calls on the Commission to actively ask for support and initiatives as well as other forms of cooperation with the private sector in tackling youth unemployment, and encourages the formation of both partnerships with businesses and public-private partnerships; welcomes the Commission’s proposal to set up a European Alliance for Apprenticeships, and expects the Commission, after consulting the relevant stakeholders, to prepare a transparent European quality framework for traineeships;

11. Calls on the Member States to adopt a legally binding quality framework on traineeships, internships and apprenticeships, including decent remuneration and recognition of the acquired knowledge as work experience, and to enhance the provision of advisory and guidance services to young people at an early stage in order to increase their ability to make well-informed decisions about their future careers and facilitate their access to the labour market;

12. Calls on the Member States to improve cooperation and strengthen partnerships between businesses and the educational sector at all levels, with the aim of linking curricula more closely to the demands of the labour market, for example by extending Sector Skills Alliances and Knowledge Alliances;

13. Urges the Member States to remove barriers in the way of cross-border apprenticeships, traineeships and internships in order to better match supply and demand regarding work-based training opportunities for youth, thereby improving mobility and employability, particularly in border regions;

14. Emphasises the importance of enhancing VET quality with the aim of striking the right balance between education and labour market demand; considers that the promotion of VET should not be done at the expense of higher education; stresses that interaction between VET and higher education and the opening of pathways from VET to higher education need to be improved; stresses that more flexible curricula are needed in order to facilitate young people’s access to the labour market and to better adapt to future labour market developments;

15. Emphasises the importance of improving quality standards and accessibility in higher education and VET; stresses also the importance of language learning in schools and in VET as a prerequisite for further capacity-building, mobility and better realisation of young people on the labour market; calls on the Member States to encourage the inclusion of foreign language studies in their education systems;

16. Calls on the Member States to support recognition of non-formal education as it plays a vital role in preparing young people for the labour market by developing crucial interpersonal skills demanded by employers; stresses the importance of ensuring the swift uptake of best practices as regards access by girls and women to training in fields traditionally regarded as more ‘masculine’, particularly in the new ICT sector;

17. Underlines the importance of young people learning general skills such as ICT, leadership, critical thinking, language and entrepreneurial skills, including through periods of study abroad, in order to improve their prospects on the job market and their ability to adapt to future labour market developments; calls on the Member States to give added importance to such skills in their educational curricula;

18. Calls on the Member States to support self-employment among young people by improving entrepreneurial education; stresses that particular attention is warranted to reduce risk aversion among young people as a precondition for successful entrepreneurship; calls also for tax breaks for businesses that are established and run by young people in order to develop an enterprise culture and the ability to create new jobs;

19. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to put into practice transparency and harmonisation in the recognition of qualifications within the Union, in particular through the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training, Europass and the European Qualifications Framework, to implement fully the Council Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal education, and especially to secure the cross-border recognition of non-formal and informal learning; stresses the importance of timely implementation and reporting on the implementation of these initiatives;

20. Welcomes the Youth Guarantee Scheme and calls on the Member States to commit themselves to implementing the scheme in an efficient and timely manner, including by creating partnerships between public employment services and educational institutions as a way of supporting young people immediately after they have left education; emphasises the need to extend the guarantee to all young people up to the age of 30;

21. Highlights the need for sufficient funding to be provided for the Youth Guarantee Scheme from the European Social Fund and other EU structural funds, and recalls that creating jobs for young people is a key objective of cohesion policy, supported both by the ERDF and the ESF; stresses, however, that these efforts should not discourage the structural efforts and reforms that are required to make the education systems and labour markets in some Member States fit for the challenges of the future;

22. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop clear objectives and indicators for the Youth Guarantee Scheme, in order to be able to effectively measure and evaluate the impact of this initiative;

23. Stresses the importance of student mobility programmes and calls on the Member States to support the planned increase in funding for these programmes under the new MFF 2014-2020; highlights the role of the proposed EU Loan Guarantee Facility for full-time Master’s students in the EU and third countries in further facilitating youth mobility and multi-dimensional university ranking;

24. Calls on the Commission to provide in its programmes for measures aimed specifically at tackling youth unemployment, following an integrated global approach consistent with ‘Youth on the Move’, a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy;

25. Calls on the Member States to ensure that young people have greater access to job offers and offers of traineeships and that basic training in job-seeking skills is incorporated into students’ university courses;

26. Notes that EU education systems should promote the principle of fair and equal opportunities; calls for all the necessary skills to be fostered with a view to facilitating access to lifelong learning, a sine qua non in the knowledge society.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

18.6.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Zoltán Bagó, Lothar Bisky, Piotr Borys, Jean-Marie Cavada, Silvia Costa, Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Mary Honeyball, Petra Kammerevert, Emma McClarkin, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Marek Henryk Migalski, Katarína Neveďalová, Doris Pack, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Monika Panayotova, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Marietje Schaake, Marco Scurria, Hannu Takkula, László Tőkés, Helga Trüpel, Sabine Verheyen, Milan Zver

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Liam Aylward, Ivo Belet, Nadja Hirsch, Iosif Matula, Georgios Papanikolaou, Kay Swinburne, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă


OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (30.5.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on ‘Tackling youth unemployment: possible ways out’

(2013/2045(INI))

Rapporteur: Roberta Angelilli

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas youth unemployment among women (below the age of 25) continues to rise, having increased from 18.8 % in 2009 to 22.1 % in 2012 and, according to the latest available data, now stands at 22.9 %; whereas issues such as discouragement, self-exclusion and disaffection with work are becoming increasingly widespread; whereas young women still face worse labour market conditions than young men, and whereas this is resulting in a significant loss of economic growth potential for Europe by under-utilising the skills of highly qualified women;

B.  whereas in the EU more than 2 million job vacancies cannot be filled; whereas the crisis has also caused large numbers of women to withdraw from the labour market, which represents an under-utilisation of human capital and skills; whereas increasing women’s participation is an urgent political objective;

C. whereas the frequently high costs of childcare services, together with their insufficient availability, have a negative impact on the employability of young mothers;

D. whereas young people are one of the social groups most affected by the current deterioration in the labour market, being more exposed to unemployment, precarious employment and low wages, even though they have higher levels of education than previous generations;

E.  whereas the number of university graduates who are over-qualified for vacancies on the labour market, or who lack relevant work experience, is growing;

F.  whereas 60 % of graduates are women, who are often placed in positions in which they are under-qualified or under-paid; whereas young women are also affected by gender differences in non-employment and employment conditions, which results in a pay gap (currently at 16.2 %) as well as a pension gap;

G. whereas flexibility and job insecurity have a greater effect on the employment of women than on that of men: in the third quarter of 2012, of all part-time workers in the 15-24 age group, some 60 % were women; whereas in the same age group, of all temporary workers with a tertiary level of education (degree and postgraduate level), 64 % were women;

H. whereas, according to a Eurobarometer survey on Women and Gender Inequalities in the Context of the Crisis published on 26 February 2013, employers are using gender criteria in the selection of personnel to the detriment of the professionalism and skills of women: in the questions asked at job interviews, the major concern of employers is that of maternity (49 %), followed by work flexibility (35 %) and physical appearance (33 %), while for men, experience (40 %) and professional qualifications (38 %) are deemed to be more important;

I.   whereas the number of NEET young people (not in education, employment, or training) has reached 7.5 million, i.e. 12.9 % of young Europeans between the ages of 15 and 24, the costs of this situation amount to 1.2 % of EU GDP, and over 30 % of unemployed people below the age of 25 in the EU have been out of work for over 12 months; whereas the rate of NEET women aged 15-24 increased from 12.9 % in 2009 to 13.4 % in 2011 (for men aged 15-24 the figure rose from 12.4 % to 12.9 %);

J.   whereas there is a growing danger of a ‘lost generation’ of young people being created in the future, and women are a risk group for unemployment;

K. whereas women are more dependent on social benefits which are being cut economic crisis, generating the so-called new discrimination; whereas 31.4 % of women aged 18-24 are at risk of poverty and social exclusion (the figure is 28.3% for men in the same age group );

L.  whereas young people are entering the labour market later as a consequence of the crisis; whereas despite Article 19 TFEU, Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 and Directive 2006/54/EC of 5 July 2006, young women still suffer age and gender discrimination when they enter the labour market; whereas access to the official labour market is harder for women from vulnerable social groups, including ethnic minorities;

M. whereas the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy provide for a 75 % employment rate for people between the ages of 20 and 64, a school dropout rate below 10 % and a removal of at least 20 million people from the risk of poverty;

N. whereas maternity often hampers access for young mothers to the labour market, thereby contributing to the widening of the gender employment gap;

1.  Welcomes the adoption by the Council of the Recommendation on Establishing a Youth Guarantee;

2.  Calls on the Member States, in particular those with the highest rate of youth unemployment, to implement the measures set out in the Youth Guarantee Scheme as a matter of urgency for all young people of various education and social backgrounds up to the age of 30, also taking into account a gender perspective in all stages of the preparation, programming and implementation of these measures; calls on the Member States to set up employment centres, with adequately trained staff, that are able to implement effective awareness-raising policies and provide specific arrangements for women, also to avoid long-term unemployment and the risk of social exclusion;

3.  Stresses that making the Youth Guarantee a reality requires public investments that will promote net job creation, create permanent jobs with proper employment contracts, and ensure respect for collective bargaining for wages and the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value;

4.  Calls on the Member States to implement measures addressing gender inequalities that are suited to take into account vulnerable social groups including persons with disabilities, migrants and single mothers;

5.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take such measures as are necessary to encourage, promote and support business start-ups and self-employment by young women by providing them with training, counselling and easier access to credit and micro-credit that offer favourable terms and fiscal facilities, in particularly for SMEs;

6.  Calls on the Member States to pursue policies to encourage the presence of women in sectors and careers where they are under-represented, such as in the field of science and technology (in 2009, only 33 % of researchers in the EU were women) and in the economic and financial sector, since choosing such paths would make women more competitive on the labour market;

7.  Calls on the Member States to support lifelong learning programmes and job retraining opportunities that would make it easier for female students, and for women who have already entered the labour market, to move from one job to another;

8.  Reminds the Commission and the Member States of their commitment to the Europe 2020 targets of 75 % employment rate for both women and men, and warns that the current level of youth unemployment can leave a generation of women out of the labour market, increasing their invisibility and vulnerability;

9.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to combat gender segregation, both in education and in the labour market, by identifying specific education and training courses, and tuition based on continuous follow-up, abiding by the conclusions set out in the Commission communication of 28 November 2012 entitled ‘Rethinking Education’ (COM(2012)0669), combining education and training policies with targeted employment policies for young women, and promoting and providing incentives for the employment of women in strategic development sectors; underlines that the aim of such activities would be to prevent early school dropouts and to ensure that the skills acquired are sufficient to meet the current and future needs of the labour market;

10. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to evaluate why the national tools for combating youth unemployment, especially among young women, are not effective, and to promote exchanges of best practices and models which have yielded positive results at European level, such as a reduced early drop-out rate, a return to the education system, an effective transition from the world of education to the world of work, reduction of the youth unemployment rate, and access to employment for disadvantaged groups;

11. Stresses that the creation of new employment opportunities must be accompanied by implementing measures to reconcile work and family life, encourage men and women to share domestic responsibilities and assist young mothers in returning to the labour market by providing sufficient, accessible, affordable and good quality childcare facilities (such as day nurseries, crèches and public recreational activities for children) and services for dependent adults in the public and private sector; stresses that such measures avert the risk that mothers have to give up or break their careers, or refrain from or delay starting a family, thereby avoiding their professional and social exclusion and reducing the risk that their children will face poverty and social exclusion; calls, in this context, on the Council to find a common position with Parliament on the Maternity Leave Directive;

12. Calls on the Member States to promote young women’s access to the labour market, take measures enabling them to stay there while they focus on pursuing quality employment and professional growth, and close the gaps with regard to entering the labour market, careers and pay that have always characterised the relationship between women and men in the workplace;

13. Asks for measures to be adopted that specifically target groups of young women with special needs, i.e. disabled women, immigrant women, women from minorities, women with little or no training, women who have suffered gender-based violence, and women who have left prostitution or prison and for whom finding a decent job is even more difficult;

14. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to organise campaigns for, and provide sufficient information about, programmes for recruitment possibilities and access to social and childcare facilities;

15. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage the use of teleworking both in the corporate sector and in public administrative bodies, so as to offer young people the option of embarking on a mobile and dynamic career path;

16. Takes the view that helping women to return to the labour market requires multidimensional policy solutions incorporating lifelong learning and action to combat precarious work and promote work with rights and differentiated work organisation practices, at the woman’s request, so that they do not have to give up their careers or take career breaks;

17. Calls on the Member States to develop appropriate policies in full compliance with European and national legislation and to take specific measures, including work-focused training and employment programmes, to ensure equal opportunities for both young men and women in gaining actual work experience;

18. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop and implement gender mainstreaming and monitoring policies that support unemployed citizens’ access to recruitment and social support services;

19. Calls on the Member States to support and recognise non-formal and informal forms of education and work in youth organisations as instruments enabling students to create their first links with the labour market;

20. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to monitor and disclose all data relating to policies to combat youth unemployment (including implementation of the Youth Guarantee), producing regional statistics for the different Member States and devoting particular attention to the gender aspect; calls, furthermore, for the implementation and monitoring of these policies to be included in the European Semester and in country-specific recommendations;

21. Calls on the Commission and the Member States, when making decisions relating to the 2014-2020 programming period, to lay down more stringent and quantifiable criteria concerning the setting, monitoring and evaluation of Structural Fund objectives, with specific targets relating to the fight against youth unemployment, which should also be measurable in terms of gender (in the period 2007-2011, 52 % of European Structural Fund beneficiaries were women);

22. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take such measures as are necessary to counteract the stereotype that entrepreneurship is a risky and male-dominated occupation; stresses that, in order to strengthen women’s overall position on the labour market and to promote entrepreneurship more effectively, measures should be taken to support regional and international cooperation between female entrepreneurs and to encourage the creation of networks of platforms for the exchange of experience and best practices;

23. Invites the Commission to consider a further adaptation of the ESF in order to provide additional support in the areas of young women’s training, access to employment and childcare;

24. Welcomes the Commission’s announcement that it is to allocate EUR 6 billion to the Youth Employment Initiative under the MFF 2014-2020; points out, moreover, that of the EUR 82 billion in unallocated European funding to be reprogrammed for youth unemployment initiatives announced in January 2012, only EUR 16 billion have been used (March 2013); calls for all appropriations to be coupled with better and faster programming, and urges the Commission to encourage exchanges of good practices between Member States in this regard; calls for the Member States to make the greatest possible financial commitment, including by drawing on funds from national budgets, to fight youth unemployment while taking gender-related issues into account;

25. Calls on the Member States, in agreement with the Commission, to establish a tax incentive scheme to promote youth employment, and to support undertakings of persons under 35, by means of incentives for undertakings – in particular SMEs – to recruit young people on permanent contracts; proposes, to this end, that – as suggested by the Commission in the employment package – the Member States could use the instrument of employment subsidies and a reduction of the tax wedge, particularly to meet the cost to employers of social security and health insurance contributions;

26. Calls on the Member States, in agreement with the Commission, to establish measures and concessions for apprenticeship contracts and bonuses for business start-ups by young people aged under 35; considers, in particular, that the Member States should provide greater and better support services for start-ups, organise awareness-raising campaigns concerning the opportunities and prospects involved in self-employment, arrange more cooperation between employment services, and provide support for businesses, including with the aid of (micro-)financing;

27. Urges the Commission and the Member States to make it compulsory to involve and consult youth organisations and the social partners in decisions, policies and programmes relating to the fight against youth unemployment, as well as in the implementation, monitoring and further development of the Youth Guarantee Scheme, the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Alliance for Apprenticeships; calls for young girls to become more involved in youth and student organisations, and subsequently in NGO activities, in order that they may strengthen their position and increase their influence;

28. Calls on the Member States to promote gender diversity in working teams and in the workplace in order to achieve better results at work;

29. Calls on the Member States to introduce policies for encouraging people, especially young women, to remain in work.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

29.5.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Marije Cornelissen, Edite Estrela, Iratxe García Pérez, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Constance Le Grip, Astrid Lulling, Barbara Matera, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Krisztina Morvai, Norica Nicolai, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Joanna Senyszyn, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Marc Tarabella, Marina Yannakoudakis, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Roberta Angelilli, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Mariya Gabriel, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Katarína Neveďalová, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Martina Anderson


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

9.7.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

1

7

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Heinz K. Becker, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Phil Bennion, Pervenche Berès, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Milan Cabrnoch, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Minodora Cliveti, Marije Cornelissen, Emer Costello, Andrea Cozzolino, Frédéric Daerden, Karima Delli, Sari Essayah, Richard Falbr, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Stephen Hughes, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Ádám Kósa, Jean Lambert, Patrick Le Hyaric, Olle Ludvigsson, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Csaba Őry, Siiri Oviir, Konstantinos Poupakis, Sylvana Rapti, Licia Ronzulli, Elisabeth Schroedter, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Jutta Steinruck, Ruža Tomašić, Traian Ungureanu, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Roberta Angelilli, Jan Kozłowski, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Gabriele Zimmer

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jacek Włosowicz

Last updated: 29 August 2013Legal notice