August 12 – A day to put the youth at the centre of attention

On the occasion of the International Youth Day, CESI reiterates the importance of youth questions in today's Europe. CESI, as a representative of more than 5 million workers across Europe, highlights the need to defend the interests of the youth especially on the labour markets.

August 12 – A day to put the youth at the centre of attention

International Youth Day was initially announced on December 17 1999 through a UN General Assembly resolution that went ahead endorsing the recommendations made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth declaring August 12 as the day to celebrate youth across the globe. With a different theme each year, the 2016 Day focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.

CESI affirms the need to work towards poverty eradication and ensuring that the youth can access education, training as well as employment. Young people are more likely to be forced into precarious employment, more than often jumping from one temporary contract to another and are experiencing a staggeringly high unemployment rate. As a comparison, the general unemployment rate within the 28 member states stands at 8,6% according to Eurostat figures, but the figure for young people dating from 2016 is 19,6%. This is unacceptable as the next generation should be the back bone of our societies.

As a trade union confederation, CESI reiterates its role as a social partner to encourage positive developments and calls for further investments into public services especially for the young.

CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “Public services provide for the necessary conditions for growth, employment and investment – for the population at large, but especially for our struggling youth. Over the last years, austerity and privatisation measures have proven harmful for social cohesion in Europe. However, despite the financial crisis that has gripped Europe leading to an even bigger need for more resources, public services have, during the last years, met with significant budget and personnel cuts and trends towards low pay and poor working conditions.”

CESI is of the opinion that the participation of trade unions in setting into motion European employment policies is crucial to ensure an effective implementation of such measures at the national level. This is especially important with regards to the Youth Guarantee where the implementation needs to be further enhanced and developed throughout Europe. Supporting a sustainable and inclusive recovery together with the implementation of an investment plan for jobs is a necessary pre-condition for improving the situation of young people in the labour markets.

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