It’s alive! It’s aliiiiiive! The Eurozone economy has been zapped with a bolt of lightning and brought back from the dead. The Single Currency bloc is now expected to post its strongest growth figures in a decade.
Yet not everybody is celebrating this new lease of life. While the Eurozone unemployment rate has fallen steadily to less than 9% for September 2017 (its lowest since February 2009), youth unemployment is still above 18%. Unemployment rates for 15-24 year-olds vary wildly across the continent, from around 40% in Greece, Spain and Italy, to roughly 10% in Germany and the Netherlands.
Many young people sheltered from the worst of the 2007-2008 crisis by staying in higher education. However, you can’t stay in education forever, and meanwhile its common for young people to have racked up significant student debts. How can Europe avoid a generation of over-educated, under-employed, and heavily-indebted young people?
What do our readers think? We had a comment from Marco arguing that education is great for helping you stand out from the crowd, but it doesn’t (by itself) create jobs. So, how can Europe ensure people can actually get quality jobs when they leave education?
To get a response, we put Marco’s comment to Malcolm Byrne, Head of Communications at the Irish Higher Education Authority and part of Friends of Europe’s European Young Leader programme. Ireland was facing an unemployment rate of roughly 15% in 2012 but today it’s down to a nine-year low of about 6%. So what’s the secret to making sure young graduates have jobs waiting for them when they conclude their studies?
We also had a comment from Saqlain arguing that the trick was for education systems in Europe to place a much greater emphasis on vocational training and skills. How would Malcolm Byrne respond?
Why is youth unemployment still so high? How can Europe ensure students get jobs when they leave education? Should education systems place a stronger emphasis on vocational training and skills? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!