Youth employment and inclusion to be boosted in Europe

Businesses leaders around Europe commit to development of business-education partnerships.

Recently, the European Commission, together with business leaders across Europe came together to agree on the European Pact for Youth. The pact is a mutual engagement between business leaders and the EU to create and foster a culture of business-education partnerships to improve the chances of young people across Europe gaining employment.

The pact, initiated by the European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR Europe), is an appeal to all business, social partners, education and training providers and other stakeholders to develop or consolidate partnerships in support of youth employability and inclusion. It is hoped that the Pact will support the creation of 10,000 quality business-education partnerships with the shared target to establish together at least 100,000 new good quality apprenticeships, traineeships of entry-level jobs.

It is thought that in order to be competitive in the global market, companies in Europe more than ever need young people with the right skills. At the same time, there is also the recognition that Europe has a significant untapped human capital potential. To take full advantage of the skills and talent available in Europe and achieve higher sustainable growth and more innovation, the business and education sector needs to open up to the world and to each other.

The European Commission will provide the Pact with technical support and assist the participating stakeholders in its implementation. The outcomes of this joint work will be presented at the first Enterprise-Education Summit in December 2017.

This initiative has the endorsement of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, Phillipe of Belgium, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the European Council, Donald Tusk. 

The Pact aims to help build a pro-youth and pro-innovation Europe by creating a fair and equitable culture of partnerships between business, education and young people. These partnerships are designed to enhance the quality of training and skills that young people can acquire, including transversal digital, entrepreneurial, green and soft skills. Examples are initiatives that support non-formal and informal learning, projects that boost apprenticeships or aim to make learning science and technology more attractive. Finally, they will support Europe’s teachers and equip young teachers with the necessary skills to become leaders in the classroom. 

Speaking following the launch of the pact the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen said: “Our top priority has been to get Europe growing again and to stimulate good quality job creation. I welcome these business-education partnerships leading to 100,000 new youth opportunities. It builds on the successful European Alliance for Apprenticeships. 

“The Commission, together with business, is moving now towards one quarter million opportunities for young people across Europe. I look forward to many more businesses and associations joining the Pact to boost opportunities for young people in Europe.” 

The President of CSR Europe, Elienne Davigon was similarly optimistic about the Pact. “Our ambition is to deliver a long standing impact for young people’s future jobs and Europe’s sustainable competitiveness. To achieve this, business-education partnerships are a must. We are confident that this will be a game-changer, much like Erasmus has been over the past 28 years.”

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