France and Germany want a ‘New Deal’ for Europe’s young jobseekers that will aim to tackle the continent’s soaring youth unemployment rate.
They want to use six billion euros in loans pledged by the EU to help fund apprenticeships, encourage mobility and provide credit to small and medium-sized businesses.
The announcement by the two governments has been welcomed by youth organisations.
“The countries where they have a very low unemployment rate, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, are the ones that implement these apprenticeship schemes,” said Andrea Gerosa, the founder of Think Young, a group which lobbies for the interests of young people.
“We very much welcome this initiative and we think that it’s key that not only the politics is involved but also companies (and) the European Investment Bank.”
The latest figures indicate 5.7 million people under the age of 25 years old are out of work across the EU.
The European Commission says all member states need to take action.
Olivier Bailly, EU Commission spokesman, said: “We see a lot of ideas floating around, some actually many of them echoed what the Commission has been proposing for the past 18 months, but it’s time to implement what has been already agreed.”
The European Commission’s Youth Guarantee proposes offering a job or training to young people four months after leaving education or being out of work.
EU leaders will put youth unemployment at top of their agenda at the next summit in June.