EU Bridge to Jobs – Preventing a Lost Generation 2.0?

On July 1, the European Commission presented an employment package to address the challenges facing young people in light of the COVID19 led economic crisis. It proposes to the Council to adopt a recommendation on a Reinforced Youth Guarantee and on Vocational and Educational Training.

CESI Youth, together with StartNet and the European Youth Forum, hosted an online conference on Preventing a Lost Generation 2.0 to discuss and engage with all relevant stakeholders.

oung people tend to be disproportionately hit during economic downturns. To face these challenges, the European Commission presented an employment package called an EU Bridge to Jobs. It consists of a proposal for the mentioned Council Recommendation on a Reinforced Youth Guarantee and on Vocational Education and Training, combined with a Skills Agenda focusing on strengthening digital skills fit for the green economy. It amounts to 22bn EUR. 

The Youth Guarantee was firstly introduced in 2013 to address the rising levels of youth unemployment, especially in Southern Europe. In the new proposal, the age group to which it applies has been extended to young people up to 29 years old. The Commission also proposes  to distinguish between short-term and long-term NEET’s (not in employment, education or training).

proposal also aims to be more inclusive and to raise awareness for the particularly difficult situation of vulnerable groups 

To find out more about this package, visit the following page. 

The joint conference of CESI Youth, StartNet and the European Youth Forum Preventing a Lost Generation 2.0 – Does the Reinforced EU Youth Guarantee respond to the challenges facing young people? started with a keynote speech by Commissioner from Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, and was followed by interventions of MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Eurofound´s Head of Unit Massimiliano Mascherini, and representatives from CESI Youth, StartNet and the European Youth Forum. 

Nicolas Schmit remembered that the difficulties in accessing the labour market can damage the rest of someone’s career, therefore waiting for better days is not an option and recognized the need to take collective solutions in due time. Schmit also noticed the importance of investing in public employment services, which are in the end delivering’ the Youth GuaranteeMEP Peter-Hansen reminded that young people have the same rights as older generations and need high quality learning experiences She supports hard legislation regarding youth employment, for example by banning unpaid internships. Massimiliano Mascherini underlined that young people are already being hardly hit by the coronavirus led economic crisis, and are most affected by it in terms of mental health. Regardless of these negative consequences, young people still have major trust in the EU, and it is therefore of utmost importance to not leave young people behind.  

CESI Youth Representative Matthäus Fandrejewski underlined that CESI Youth had strongly welcomed the Commission’s proposal EU Bridge to Jobs to prevent rising unemployment levels among younger generations, as it was seen during the last global financial crisis. I would like to highlight the extension of the age to which the Youth Guarantee applies, given that transition to work happens later and a lot of people older than 25 years old are still studying. This is something that CESI Youth has been advocating for some time now, he stated. CESI Youth has also always insisted that young people must have the right to quality jobs, since they tend be employed in atypical and precarious working contract and in sectors which are particularly hit by the crisis. Strengthening and easing the access of young people to social protection schemes will also be key in the future. “The new reinforced Youth Guarantee needs to focus more on the creation of real jobs for the young people and should not continue the marathon of traineeships co-financed by public money”, underlines Matthäus.  

Trade Unions have to play a key role together with national youth councils, youth organizations and political stakeholders in the designing of the youth guarantee programs 

There is still work to be done to guarantee sufficient quality jobs, internships and apprenticeships. It is worth reminding everyone that young people are overrepresented in atypical and precarious work schemes; this poses a threat to their financial independence and to their access to social protection”, Matthäus Fandrejewski concluded. 


To watch the full conference please visit the following link. 

Consult CESI statement on an ad-hoc EU social partner consultation on a reinforced Youth Guarantee here. 

Consult CESI Youth article on Youth Employment and COVID19 here. 

Consult CESI’s position paper on the Future of Work here.