Youth unemployment in the EU stood at 21% in 2015. But this figure masks huge differences between individual countries – with over half of young people struggling to find jobs in some Member States (such as Spain and Greece), and only one in ten unable to get into work in others (including Germany and Austria). We know that many of our readers are young people, and so plenty of you will have personal experience with the many frustrations of endlessly looking (and not finding) employment.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Petio, arguing that tackling youth unemployment should be a priority for Europe: “With youth unemployment growing, [we] have to give more chance and opportunities to young people.”
How would YOU help young graduates find jobs? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!
So, I think if we want to create jobs we need investment. And investment has decreased due to the austerity applied in Europe, so first of all we need a big public investment program that would also crowd in private investment, and we also need to oblige companies to provide adequate training for young people.
We need strategic investment projects. Until now, we have merely funded consumption and speculation on debt without investing. We need to make our infrastructure much greener, transition to more sustainable energy, invest in restoring the quality of our ecosystems, invest in social cohesion, invest in education, and invest in R&D. Investment in all of these areas would generate jobs.
That said, there’s no rule written in heaven that the quantity of human work hours needed for society to function properly is the number of people in the workforce multiplied by 40 hours per week. So, we need to think what is the work that is needed, and distribute it in an equitable way… We currently have about 20% of people with no jobs, 40-50% of people with indecent jobs, and a minority with decent jobs, sometimes with indecently high remuneration, such as in the banking sector.
First of all, by strengthening the right skills and competences already in the education process and curricula. Member States must ensure career orientation services work well at all levels to assist young people. The EPP believe that more flexible labour market rules would help young people to find jobs, rather than rigid protectionism by labour laws.
Janes Collins (EFD), Member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (NOTE: We contacted the EFD for comment but they did not reply in time for publication. The below is from a statement made by Jane Collins on behalf of her national party, UKIP):
UKIP will guarantee employers that they cannot be sued for discrimination if they decide to favour a young unemployed British person (under the age of 25) for a job ahead of a better qualified or more experienced foreign applicant. With youth unemployment still at more than three quarters of a million, there remains a jobs emergency for our young people. Employers who wish to back British workers and give local young people a chance on the first rung of the career ladder should not face the possible threat of legal action, as they presently do. UKIP will therefore make the pledge of “British jobs for British workers” plausible and meaningful in law.
Curious to learn more about Europe’s youth unemployment crisis? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger image):
IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Sinn Féin
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