This study examines the employment situation of young people in 26 European countries, looking at unemployment data, the regulatory framework and programmes at national level specifically targeted at raising employment levels. The study also presents the role and views of the social partners and highlights the main issues for policy consideration. It is based on national reports on the subject, drawn up on the basis of a questionnaire
Youth unemployment and the need to integrate young people in society is a pressing global issue. In Europe, the proportion of young people aged 15 to 24 years is set to decline by a quarter from 12.6% to 9.7% between 2005 and 2050, while the 65-years plus group will increase from 16.4% to 29.9%. Yet it is often difficult for young people to get started on the employment ladder. The rate of youth unemployment is 20% or higher in 12 of 26 European countries.
Eurofounds report on Youth and work acknowledges the increasingly complex role of policymakers in grappling with this issue, due to the great variety of needs and assets. Moreover, within each country there are regional differences, which necessitate action at a local level, involving all the social actors, particularly the social partners and public authority representatives.
However, youth employment and unemployment rates are highly susceptible to cyclical economic change. By the time policies for individual industries or sectors are designed, economic circumstances have often changed.