The EU wants to help young Europeans get jobs

About 5.5 million people under the age of 25 are unemployed in the European Union.

The EU and its Member States are responding to this challenge with actions that are designed to boost young people’s mobility, employability and confidence.

A recently published Eurobarometer flash survey on youth mobility found that about 53 % of young Europeans are willing or keen to work in another European country.

At first sight this figure is good news for European mobility because at the moment only 3 % of the EU population lives outside their native country.

However, a lack of money seems to be a significant barrier to youth mobility. Some 33 % of those who would like to experience life abroad said they could not make the move because they did not have the funds.

In fact, the survey reveals that only 1 in 7 young Europeans has been abroad for education or training. And two-thirds who had tasted life outside their own country said that they had to rely on private funding for their trip.

These statistics represent a problem for young Europeans because studying abroad offers a great opportunity to gain new skills and life experiences – factors which are known to improve employability.

As Europe needs more highly-skilled and knowledgeable young people to keep the economy competitive and to compensate for the ageing population, the obstacles to mobility are indeed a problem.

Youth on the Move

The European Commission and the Member States have come together to develop a package of measures designed to help young Europeans get jobs – and to encourage greater mobility.

Youth on the Move has been launched as part of the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy for economic growth. The initiative acts as a toolbox containing various measures to help young people achieve their ambitions.

Young people really do need some extra help right now bearing in mind Europe’s high levels of youth unemployment. The difficulties they have in finding work are linked in no small measure to a lack of qualifications and experience.

That is why Youth on the Move is working to increase young people’s qualifications and job prospects by raising the quality of their education and training opportunities.

Through the initiative, all young people in Europe should be given the chance to learn and get training abroad. Other actions include helping universities to improve the quality of courses they offer. Greater emphasis on providing work placements should also help young people understand and secure employment.

Meanwhile, Youth@Work, is building contacts between young people and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Launched in April 2011, this action aims to encourage smaller businesses to look seriously at the potential of young people as employees. In turn, it should help young people find work with SMEs, which in Europe provide two out of three private sector jobs.

Entrepreneurship and self-employment are also being promoted through Youth on the Move. The initiative also comes with a ‘youth guarantee’, which aims to ensure that all young people are in a job, training or work experience within four months of leaving school.

They made the move!

The Youth on the Move website features a number of inspiring personal stories about young people getting a taste of life, work and study abroad. Estonian Alar Albrecht went to Italy to train as a chef, with support from the EU’s Leonardo da Vinci programme for vocational educational and training. Alar says he learnt so much on his work placement that he will be able to open his own restaurant.

Meanwhile, Marie-Anne Helon from Belgium worked in Slovenia with help from the Discovering European Social Services scheme. She enjoyed comparing and contrasting ways of working, and has taken some good ideas back home which she can share with others.



6 thoughts on “The EU wants to help young Europeans get jobs

  1. Firstly young people cannot get a job because their studies do not prepare them so good for work. Most of the studies serve an unnecessary theoretical knowledge. Young man comes to work and does not know the basics of business. Employers want experienced workers, who have some practical knowledge. That is a reason why training is so important. Secondly, in selection of studies is still dominated by the humanities, when the labor market is a great demand for engineers. Education should encourage young people to study engineering. A good solution for a young people is specialize in niches in the labor market. Thanks to the EU is now very easy to self-employment. All thanks to numerous donations to begin the activity. This is a very good thing from UE.

  2. I think the main problem in youth education and employment is that the selection criterias for jobs are also very difficult. Especially in countries such as Germany or the Uk, companies expect the youth to have very good grades in school/university, high level of practical experience, language skills and interpersonal skills but also technical skills. Moreover, they look for people who work voluntarily next to school and have been abroad. Thus, it is very difficult to find even a place for an internship as people who do not fit to the requirements do not even get a chance to proof themselves. Supporting experience abroad is a good thing but on the other hand, the companies must clearly change their expectations from the youth and young people need to get the chance to learn in the companies also in their own country. Many people start looking for experience abroad because of their fear of not finding a job in their home country or not being able to fit to the requirements.

  3. It is fact that studing abroad is costly and not every student has the opportunity to make this experience. But I think that especially this experience makes students thinking in an other way and opening their mind for new ideas and illusions. As all these changes in a persons life are not only responsible for its own advancement, but also for the economic sector in which the person is going to work after his study. In my opinion coutries should invest a lot of their budget to boost exchange programms or initiatives like the Youth on the Move, because such projects enable students a lot of opportunities that are also very important for the country itself. The more qualified and dedicated the people in one country are, the better its growth rates and employment. I really welcome these kind of initiatives mentioned in the text above and hope that in future we will have more of them.

  4. Honestly, i do not know if young people get more jobs if they go abroad for studying. I mean while staying abroad you do not concentrate of receiving the perfect education. The only thing you learn is how to deal with other nations and the different cultures. BUt do you really think that studying abroad for one Semester helps you to find a better job? Or that you will have improved skills after that? Of course you will improve your skills in terms of being open-minded to different types of people and you may learn another language but i am not sure if you really learn something for your job life. In my opinion the problem is that young people althought they received are educated very well, are not motivated enough. If we look at Germany as an example, there the people get a lot of financial support. Sometimes this support is more than they would earn in a real job. Additionally, today more women want to make career instead of playing the role of the traditional housewife. Through this fact the situation on the labour market gets more critical because more employees of course need more work places.

  5. For me, I agree that students who have been abroad had better chances in finding jobs. I’m sure those who study abroad gain new skills and life experiences. This definitely helps when one starts working. For me, I cannot help but envying that Europeans have this organization to support young people financially to give them chances studying or working abroad. In South Korea, it is obvious that those who studied abroad have priority in looking for jobs. Every year, the percentage of students going abroad is getting higher. Most of my friends in Korea also want to study abroad. The thing is there is barely a financial support from the government and also an organization. It was quite a cultural shock when most of my friends in Europe have a working experience in other countries in their young ages. I was just surprised they can do that among EU member states. I really appreciate that those initiatives trying to give students more opportunity and I hope we can have the same changes without barriers among Asian countries


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