Youth guarantee

What is it?

The youth guarantee scheme aims to secure a smooth transition from school to work, support labour market integration and make sure that no young person is left out.

The scheme should ensure that all young people under the age of 25 receive a quality offer of:

  • employment
  • continued education
  • an apprenticeship or
  • traineeship

within four months  of losing a job or leaving formal education.

The recommendation on establishing a youth guarantee was adopted by the Council in April 2013.

How does it work?

Each member state should set up and implement the youth guarantee scheme with the strong involvement of employers, employment services, education and training institutions and youth support services.

It should make sure that young people have full access to information about the services and support available.


The scheme will be funded by EU member states with EU support from the European Social Fund and the youth employment initiative.

Next steps

The European Council has recommended that member states implement their youth guarantee schemes as soon as possible  and ensure that they are properly integrated into EU programmes that re co-financed from the EU budget.

All member states drafted their youth guarantee implementation plans.

These plans set out how the youth guarantee scheme will be implemented at national level, the respective roles of public authorities and other organisations, how it will be financed, how progress will be monitored and the timetable. 

The Employment Committee, which is an advisory committee for employment and social ministers meeting in the Council, is monitoring the implementation of the youth guarantee and assesses its impact.

In its opinion endorsed by the EPSCO Council in June 2015, the Employment Committee noted "considerable progress" in the implementation of the initiative. It identified a number of key challenges for EU countries, including:

  • better targeting young people who are neither in employment, education nor training (NEETs)
  • strengthening public employment services and
  • reforming education systems       

The Employment committee also contributes to the youth guarantee by reviewing the implementation of youth-related country specific recommendations that are adopted in the framework of the European Semester.

Assessment of the ongoing implementation

At the meeting in June 2015, EU ministers also discussed a report by the Court of Auditors, which assessed the implementation of the youth guarantee. The report identified three potential risks to it:

  • the adequacy of total funding
  • difficulty in defining what constitutes a good-quality offer, especially taking into account a variety of labour market situations across the EU
  • the lack of a comprehensive monitoring system

At the EPSCO Council meeting in March 2016, ministers endorsed the latest key messages from the Employment Committee. The Committee highlighted that member states show a strong commitment to implementing the guarantee. It also noted positive results from those measures which have been implemented.

EMCO's key messages provide its input for the Commission's report on the implementation of the youth guarantee and on the operation of the youth employment initiative

In October 2016, the Commission issued its report on the implementation of the youth guarantee. The report presents findings on the progress so far, showing that young people's labour market performance in the EU has overall surpassed expectations with 1.4 million less young people unemployed in the EU than in 2013.

In December 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on the implementation of the youth guarantee, welcoming the Commission's report.

In December 2016, the European Council called for the continuation of the youth guarantee.