Youth on the labour market: an evaluation of the Youth Guarantee

From 12 to 15 September 2019 took place a seminar about “Youth on the labour market: an evaluation of the Youth Guarantee”, organized by IFES (Institutul de Formare Economică şi Socială) in Cluj-Napoca / Romania with the support of EZA and of the European Union.

The most important aspect of the seminar was the presentation of an important program of the European Union – the “Youth Guarantee”, less known among young people, was made. There was talk about the presence of young people in the labour market, about the role of unions in supporting young people and about the changes that unions have to go through in order to re-become attractive to young people.

The seminar was important just now because this is the moment when the budget of the European Union is being built for the period 2021-2028. At the same time, there is a growing concern of the trade union organizations for modernization and for increasing the level of representativeness among the working people.

The seminar was attended by 33 representatives of workers’ organizations and one guest, from 9 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Moldavia (as guest), Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Romania

The following topic fields were discussed:

- Youth Guarantee program. Goals and achievements at EU level. A participatory approach.

- Youth on the labour market of the EU countries

- Youth Guarantee in Romania. The status and its achievements.

- Education as a key prerequisite for a successful path on the labour market

- Youth Guarantee achievements country by country. The youth situation on the labour market

- Youth on the labour market and economic migration from the candidate/not member countries   

- The social partners and their support for the youth to get on the labour market. What challenges should EU instruments (public policies and programs) address in order to better support young people in having a proper job?

- What to do next?

Seminar results

Two were the topics proposed to the participants in the seminar: the situation of young people on the labor market (access to quality jobs, with decent incomes) and the involvement of the authorities and of the European Union in improving the situation of young people on the labor market. Starting from the two reports presented by Mariana Lemos (PT) and Alfredo Ramirez Nardiz (ES) the seminar participants asked, gave examples and commented on the two topics. The essential role of the education system in the access of young people to the labor market was underlined. The phenomenon of young people emigrating from European countries was also discussed, especially for economic reasons, but also for professional reasons (quality jobs). Of course, the topic of intergenerational conflict was also discussed (what the more experienced generation thinks young people should do versus what young people think older people do not do well in terms of their profession and jobs).

Regarding the Youth Guarantee, a European Union instrument designed to support the labour market presence and the professional development of young people, the participants in the seminar stated that it is not sufficiently known in any of the participating countries. After presenting the content of this program of the European Commission, very important measures for young union members were identified.

The next topic discussed was the role of trade unions. The low interest of young workers in the union activity was underlined. There was also talk about the need to modernize the trade union activity, but also about the issues that must be maintained in the daily activity of the trade unions.

Finally, the participants expressed their interest in the Youth Guarantee program. They asked for better communication and information regarding this project and its achievements. In this way, more and more young people will be able to benefit from the help offered by the European Union.

The information regarding the contents of the Youth Guarantee will be used by the participants to inform the union members and / or from the workplace about this instrument made available to young people by the European Union. Discussions about the role of unions in the professional life of young people, about ways to adapt and modernize the activity of unions will generate initiatives, perhaps even changes in the organizations from which the participants came.

Through the organizations they represent, the role of young people in programming the Youth Guarantee in the future budget of the European Union will be more active and better oriented to their specific needs.