EESC opinion: Role of the social partners in improving the situation of young people on the labour market

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EESC opinion: Role of the social partners in improving the situation of young people on the labour market

Key points

The measures adopted by the social partners should be based on the following key objectives:

  • persuading national governments to carry out appropriate reforms;
  • using all available means, in particular programmes supported by the European Structural Funds , to give all young people high-quality and properly paid employment;
  • shortening the transition period between leaving school and starting working life proper;
  • helping young people to make constructive use of periods of inactivity whilst unemployed or whilst looking for their first job;
  • assisting the integration of the most vulnerable groups of young people;
  • ensuring that work can be reconciled with personal and family life;
  • striking the appropriate balance between flexibility and security;
  • ensuring better cooperation between businesses, secondary schools and universities;
  • providing incentives for entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation;
  • enhancing the quality of apprenticeships and making them more attractive;
  • promoting measures to prevent long-term unemployment amongst the younger age-groups;
  • informing young people of their economic and social rights.

The areas for action are many and varied, but can be divided into seven main groups:

  • Education: working at the national, regional and local levels to establish closer links with the world of work.
  • Vocational training: taking part in the design and organisation of vocational training schemes, encouraging personal development and the acquisition of social skills.
  • Traineeships: offering traineeships as part of the school curriculum, drawing up codes of conduct on working conditions and pay for trainees.
  • Collective bargaining: integrating the rights of young people as fully-fledged citizens into consultation and social dialogue.
  • Third-sector activities: working together with youth organisations, promoting and publicising networks that facilitate contact between young people and the world of work.
  • Good practice: promoting the exchange of good practice.
  • Mobility (both in the European Union and in businesses): encouraging people to learn other languages , providing exchanges of work experience on the basis of guaranteeing workers' rights.