In an effort to strengthen youth employment in Europe, EU Member States adopted the Youth Guarantee. The Youth Guarantee is a recommendation of the Council of the European Union. It obliges Member States to take certain actions to help young people find a job (decision of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of April 2013).
The idea at the heart of the Youth Guarantee is early intervention in order to avoid longer periods of unemployment for young people from the outset. In line with this approach, the Member States want 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.
All Member States have drawn up implementation plans defining the steps necessary to implement the Youth Guarantee. The Federal Government presented Germany's implementation plan in April 2014. Member States with high youth-unemployment rates are getting financial support from EU sources in order to be able to finance the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. This support is called the Youth Employment Initiative. EU funds amounting to 6.4 billion euros have been made available for this initiative.
The European Commission monitors the implementation of the Youth Guarantee by the Member States at regular intervals in the framework of the European Semester, i.e. in the framework of the coordination of national economic policies at the European level. To this end, it evaluates the national implementation plans and defines indicators for each country which measure the effectiveness of the services provided to young people.
The Youth Guarantee has helped launch important reforms in many Member States. Examples include a reinforcement of national public employment services or the establishment of specialised counselling centres offering support geared towards young people. In addition, many Member States aim to improve the quality of their vocational training and further training. Finally, 18 pilot projects have been launched in order to experiment with new approaches of integrating young people into the labour market.