PES Social Europe Network welcomes Commissioner Schmit’s action on youth employment

PES Social Europe Network welcomes Commissioner Schmit’s action on youth employment

YES – announced yesterday by the European Commission – was on the agenda as MEPs, representatives from PES member parties and organisation, and civil society met by videoconference to discuss the recovery, jobs and wellbeing.

SEN chair, S&D EMPL coordinator Agnes Jongerius MEP, said:

“This crisis is deeply impacting people right across society, but the young are being hit particularly hard. According to the ILO, nearly one in five young people will be out of work due to COVID-19. For many, there is a real risk that this pandemic will have permanent negative consequences for their learning and employment opportunities. Courses have been suspended and employers have stopped hiring or are even letting staff go. That is why investing in youth is so important. Europe’s youth should not bear the burden of a crisis for the second time within a decade, we have a duty to support the next generation through this crisis and beyond.

“Opportunities for young people has always been a priority for socialists and democrats. That is why we launched the Youth Guarantee in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when young people were again suffering, and youth employment was rising. Commissioner Schmit’s decision to reinforce the Guarantee is very welcome, as are plans to further extend support for vocational education and training, apprenticeships and youth employment projects. This crisis should not be used as an excuse to lower either the quantity or the quality of jobs. Instead we must aim for creating new sustainable jobs with decent working conditions. This has been and will be a key demand of the PES family and they will be vital to secure a positive future for the next generation.”

Following a campaign initiated by PES in 2012, a proposal to introduce a Youth Guarantee was pushed forward by socialist and democratic Commissioner László Andor. The PES then launched the European Youth Plan in 2016, and put more opportunities for young people at the centre of our 2019 European elections campaign. Commissioner Schmit, also from the PES family, is building on this with his work with this new initiative.

Alongside the YES, the SEN also discussed the PES Recovery Plan and a draft paper on wellbeing.