Employment and entrepreneurship
What is the EU's role?
To promote youth employment and entrepreneurship, the EU and its member countries work together to:
- Address the concerns of young people in employment strategies
- Invest in the skills employers look for
- Develop career guidance and counselling services
- Promote opportunities to work and train abroad
- Support quality internships/apprenticeships
- Improve childcare and shared family responsibilities
- Encourage entrepreneurship
How is this being done?
Increasing youth employment is central to the EU's employment policy, within the context of the Europe 2020 growth and jobs strategy.
The Youth Guarantee is a commitment by all Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. It is based on a Council Recommendation adopted in April 2013 following a proposal from the Commission.
In its December 2016 Communication Investing in Europe's Youth the Commission proposes a renewed effort to support young people:
Better opportunities to access employment
Better opportunities through education and training
Better opportunities for solidarity, learning mobility and participation
A new initiative is the European Solidarity Corps, which is aimed at creating opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in solidarity related-projects that benefit communities and people around Europe.
A Quality Framework for Traineeships has been set up with a view to proposing guidelines for traineeships outside formal education to provide high quality learning content and fair working conditions.
The European Alliance for Apprenticeships aims at finding ways to reduce obstacles to mobility for young people.
Youth entrepreneurship is high on the EU political agenda as a tool to combat youth unemployment and social exclusion as well as stimulating innovation among young people:
- Fostering youth entrepreneurship is one of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and its Youth on the Move flagship initiative;
- Employment and Entrepreneurship are one of the eight fields of action promoted by the EU Youth Strategy (2010-2018);
- Entrepreneurship is a key competence in the European Reference Framework on Key Competencies for Lifelong Learning (2006).
Youth work and non-formal learning play an important role in developing the creative and innovative potential of young people including entrepreneurial skills. Youth policy and programmes at EU and national level support this:
- The EU Youth Strategy Council Resolution on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018) includes creativity and entrepreneurship among its eight fields of action;
- The importance of youth entrepreneurship is stressed in the Council Conclusions on promoting youth entrepreneurship to foster social inclusion of young people (2014). Special attention is paid to 'social entrepreneurship' that combinies a social and entrepreneurial dimension;
- An expert group report on Developing the creative and innovative potential of young people through non-formal learning in ways that are relevant to employability (2014) highlights the strong need to ensure educators and employers are more aware of the value of non-formal learning, to improve partnership work and cross-sector innovation, and to enhance the ability of adults working directly with young people;
- The study Working with young people: the value of youth work in the European Union (2014) confirms the impact of youth work in areas including entrepreneurship and culture, by developing transversal skills, exercising skills in practice and increasing cultural activities which influence young people's creativity;
- The Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020) has a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the Key Action 2 through strategic partnerships and transnational youth initiatives.