The European Commission has announced a plan to stem the tide of growing youth employment plaguing the European Union.
The programme will help out of work youth throughout all 27 EU member states.
The new programme to keep young adults off of jobless benefits has been named the Youth Operatives Initiative (YOI) and is expected to create 370,000 work placements throughout the EU.
One of the Initiative’s flagship programmes is a youth guarantee, which will put young people into work, study, or training within four months of leaving school.
The current economy has made it hard for young people to get their foot in the door of the working world, as employers either lack the money to hire new young workers or shy away from the risk of taking on a young and inexperienced employee.
Job cuts have been rampant as firms, implementing their own austerity measures, scale down their operations to remain solvent in trying times. Younger employees are often quick go in a round of mass job cuts, as they are usually the most junior employees.
All of these environmental factors have led to the European Commission’s estimate that 21% of young people in the EU are unemployed. These out of work youth are costing society around 2 billion euros per week, a full 1% of the EU’s entire economic output.
Laszlo Andor, EU commissioner for employment, has said that the situation for young people in EU countries has become “dramatic” and that it is time for the EU to take decisive action.
Andor has said that the EU risks losing this generation of young people if they are allowed to continue with no work experience and no career.
Despite the possible benefits, critics in the UK are rearing against another costly interference from Brussels.
Matthew Sinclair, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said that the initiative will not help the UK because its youth unemployment problem developed before the financial crisis.
Many feel it has now become a crisis of its own.
Critics also feel that unemployment needs home grown solutions, such as reforms within the British education system.
The European Social Fund, which will spend 30 billion euros on the Youth Opportunities Initiative, is accused of being “chronically misspent” and a waste of taxpayer money. However, the Commission has stated that the funds will come from reallocations of existing budgets.