We believe in people that are dynamic, entrepreneurial, talented, self-motivated and dedicated. People who have bright ideas and are motivated to follow their dream.
We believe that young people should also be able to follow their dreams onto the labour market after finishing their studies. However, the economic crisis has hit the young more than any other age group.
Competition for jobs has changed from being local and national, to being global. Young people are not competing with others from their hometown anymore, but with anybody from any town, from anywhere.
Young people are not prepared for a changing job market
The world has moved along with the times. Access to the best study programmes are available to those whose education, only a decade ago, was not really developed.
The biggest change is that jobs in large organisations and the public sector are decreasing. And our education system does not encourage young people to create their own job opportunities.
The main obstacle to youth employment is a lack of preparedness for the unconventional economic environment they find themselves in.
The job market that young people have learned about and knew through their parents doesn't exist anymore. There is no longer a safe formula for the kind of education they should undertake in order to get a job.
The European Single Market creates new opportunities for youth
Europe, however, is creating a real single market, a melting pot. This is a big step towards lowering barriers to self-employment and to businesses being able to implement an idea on a larger scale, in a market of 500 million people.
This size of an open market has not easily been available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Now Europe is removing barriers and making various development funds available, as for example the COSME Programme, to support the competitiveness of European SMEs.
Europe has also contributed to the international exchange of students; with the new Erasmus+ umbrella programme, 5 million young people will be able to take advantage of this.
A further 8 billion Euro fund will be made available to stimulate employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship specifically for young people, as part of the Youth Guarantee adopted by EU Member States.
There are also various incentives for young people and entrepreneurs available in the new Common Agricultural Policy.
Modern education should encourage self-employment in growing industries
Youth unemployment will not solve itself right away. We have to build a compelling vision for European youth based on new industries, markets and entrepreneurship.
We need to modernise education by using open systems, integrating non-formal education and various skill-building platforms, thus encouraging creative confidence.
We need to shine a light on and make investments in opportunities that could generate self-employment and grow into businesses. These are the opportunities that are growing from market demand in healthy food, wellbeing, sustainability and technology development with low-cost deployment.
We need to raise awareness among young people to allow them to see what they have so far been unable to.