On 1 July 2020, the European Commission released a communication for a reinforced youth guarantee as part of a package to support youth in the turbulent backdrop of the global pandemic. The package ensures that all young persons from 15-29 receive a quality offer of employment, education, apprenticeship or traineeship within four months. As part of the communication, social economy organisations such as cooperatives and social enterprises have been commended for their adaptability, as a source for social inclusion at local and regional levels, benefiting those furthest from the labour market.
The youth guarantee was launched in 2013, at the peak of the youth unemployment crises and has already facilitated 24 million young people gain access the labour market. Previously, the initiative was targeted for young people under the age of 25. Today’s package includes two proposals for council recommendations one ‘A Bridge to Jobs – Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee’ to replace Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee. Another, for a council recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.
Rooted in the European Pillar of Social Rights, the proposed youth employment support aligns with the European Commission’s mandate for a green and digital Europe. The Communication on the European Green Deal, adopted on 11 December 2019, announced that the youth guarantee would be updated to enhance employability and accelerate digital and green transitions. The youth package proposes at least €22 billion should be spent on youth employment support as part of NextGeneration EU and the EU’s long term budget.
The consultation: As part of a consultation process, RREUSE amongst other civil society organisation and networks participated in a dedicated social partner hearing earlier in 2020.
The outcome: The communication emphasises the EU’s digital and green transition will be at the core of all youth employment policies, through the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and support for the New Industrial strategy. Furthermore, there are references to youth particularly affected by discrimination or youth facing vulnerable situations.
Entrepreneurial and career management skills have been highlighted with special attention to young women. ‘Social entrepreneurship increases the attractiveness of self-employment for many young people inspired by entrepreneurial career paths that are linked to positive and meaningful societal impact.
Moreover, social economy organisations such as cooperatives and social enterprises are often more resilient to economic cycles.’ 
Looking ahead, we hope this package, which will be inputted in the European Action Plan for the Social Economy (2021) will make a green future for all in Europe, ensuring the youth are also at the centre of future decisions.
 Communication from the Commission to the European parliament, the council, the European economic and social committee and the committee of the regions Youth Employment Support: a Bridge to Jobs for the Next Generation (available here)
For more information about the consultation process or how your organisation can benefit from the Youth Employment Support in the future contact Elaine Hanlon, Social Affairs Policy Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rreuse.org
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