28/02/2013 - Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO)
Council agrees on Youth Guarantee
On 28 February 2013, the Council reached a political agreement on the establishment of youth guarantee schemes which aim to ensure that unemployed young people are quickly offered employment or training.
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All young people under the age of 25 who lose their job or do not find work after leaving school should receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within 4 months. Member states should implement the schemes as soon as possible, preferably as from 2014. In countries with severe budgetary difficulties and higher rates of youth unemployment, however, a gradual implementation could be considered.
The youth guarantee is a response to the worsening youth employment situation in Europe, where an increasing number of young people are without employment, education or training. The investment required for such schemes is to be set against the high social and economic costs wide-spread youth unemployment would entail in the longer term.
Part of the scheme funding will be supported by EU funds which will be reinforced by a new initiative making €6 billion available for the period 2014-2020. It will help regions with youth unemployment rates above 25 % to take steps to boost youth employment. Half of that amount will be allocated from the European Social Fund, the other half from a dedicated youth employment budget line.