[QODLink]
Europe

EU leaders vow to tackle youth unemployment

Leaders of 24 European nations pledge to improve the rising youth unemployment situation within two years.

Last updated: 12 Nov 2013 23:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Over seven million European people aged between 15-24 are neither in work, education or training [Reuters]

Heads of state of 24 European nations have met to discuss rising unemployment among European youths, insisting that the situation will improve over the next two years.

The leaders, who met in Paris on Tuesday, announced no new programmes but pledged to push plans already in place to reverse the rising joblessness for the under 25’s.

With budgets still tight and austerity measures in place, Europe's youth unemployment rate stands at 23.5 percent, up from 23.1 percent a year ago.

A total of 7.5 million aged 15 to 24 are neither in work, education or training.

Europe has 45 billion euros ($60b) between 2013 and 2015 to tackle youth unemployment.

French President Francois Hollande said the meeting had set a strategy to ensure that by 2015, no youth will spend more than four months unemployed without being offered a job, an apprenticeship, training or education.

"We must act quickly because it is urgent, we cannot abandon a generation," Hollande said at a news conference.

Hollande said the leaders agreed that European Union nations which have action plans to combat youth unemployment by the end of the year will begin drawing upon the 6 billion euro ($8bn) Youth Employment Initiative that the EU has set aside beginning on January 1.

As of 2011, only 34 percent of 15-29 year-olds in Europe were employed, the lowest figure ever recorded.

However, the EU employment figure masks huge disparities. Germany’s youth unemployment rate stands at 7.7 percent whilst Greece's is 57.3 percent.

Seven EU countries had a youth jobless rate over 30 percent, fueling concern that a generation of people will be locked out of the job market, hurting long-term growth prospects for their nations.

One EU think-tank estimated that the cost to Europe of employing so few of its young people reached 153 billion euros annually as of 2011.

306

Source:
Associated Press
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list