Several measures have been put in place to improve youth employability and mitigate effects of the crisis among Spanish youth. In Spain, the number of young people under 25 who are neither working nor studying amounted to 858 200 in 2012.

The Spanish youth guarantee implementation plan responds to the Council recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a youth guarantee. It reinforces the youth guarantee in the national strategy for youth employment and entrepreneurship proposed by the government for the period 2013-16.

Measures and actions to reduce youth unemployment, such as the single job portal (Portal Único de Empleo: EMPLEATE), fall under the umbrella of this strategy and implementation plan. The pilot project youth activation agency (Agencia de activación juvenil) led by the city of Gijón is one of 18 projects approved by the European Commission, to test for a year the impact of comprehensive measures aimed at alleviating high rates of youth unemployment in Europe, and particularly in Spain.

Reaching out to those furthest away from the labour market is essential if the youth guarantee is to apply to all young people. With this in mind, the pilot project in Gijón employed two dedicated ‘street counsellors’ to reach out to young people who were considered to be in this group.

The counsellors, experienced in working with disadvantaged young people, received training in pedagogy and social work upon joining the project. They carried out 40 hours of outreach work over a period of three weeks. They worked in tandem visiting local hang-outs in Gijón, such as skate parks, squares, job centres, libraries and the beach, at different times of the day. Being close to the age of their target groups, they dedicated time to listening to their stories, needs and aspirations, and used one-to-one conversations to highlight different aspects of the pilot that could be of interest to each. Result: the street counsellors referred 54 disengaged youngsters to the pilot, of which 31 finally registered.

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