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Tackling Youth Unemployment in the EU: Closing the Skills Gaps, Promoting Entrepreneurship and Developing Viable Solutions

Date: Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre  |  City: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium

According to recent Eurostat data, 3.722 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in 2017 in the EU28, a decrease of 380,000 as compared with October 2016. The lowest youth unemployment rates were observed in Germany (6.6 %) and the Czech Republic (7,2 %), while the highest were recorded in Greece (40.2 % in August 2017), Spain (38.2 %) and Italy (34.7 %). Although these figures demonstrate progress, youth unemployment still remains high across the EU.

Under the Youth Employment Initiative, introduced in 2013 by the European Commission, the EU aimed at supporting those regions and countries that have a youth unemployment rate above 25%. In June 2017, the Council and the Parliament agreed to increase the budget for 2017-2020 by €2.4 billion. Member States have also continued to implement the Youth Guarantee plan to ensure that all individuals under 25 receive a good-quality offer within four months after leaving education or becoming unemployed. Alternative paths to learning and development, such as the European Solidarity Corps have also been taken to ensure that the need to develop practical skillssets is met.

Despite these attempts to mitigate the problem of youth employment, young people starting their careers continue to face relevant structural problems. The long practice of offering unpaid internships, poor protection services for the young workers, as well as the inconsistency between the job market and the skills cultivated during the learning process, still continue to exist.. A better exchange of information between the teaching institutions, employers and employment services is necessary in order to better tap into the potential that each young person has.

This international symposium offers a timely and invaluable opportunity to engage with the challenges underpinning unemployment trends in the EU and analyse the ways in which employers, recruiters, educational institutions and employment services can support young people in reaching their full potential. Furthermore, the delegates will have the chance to explore innovative strategies for equipping young people with the relevant skills to flourish within the current labour market.

Delegates Will

  • Engage with the latest policy developments aimed at tackling youth unemployment at European level
  • Develop viable solutions to boost youth employment and create quality jobs with the support of employment services and employer’s organisations
  • Strategise to minimise skills mismatches in the current labour market
  • Understand the importance of vocational training
  • Evaluate the potential of entrepreneurship in tackling unemployment amongst young people
  • Participate in interactive and constructive discussions with key stakeholders in the field of youth employment
  • Discuss ways to make a smoother transition from the educational to the work environment and bridge the gaps between education providers and employers
  • Share best practice in initiatives supporting young people employment opportunities


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks

The EU Framework for Youth Unemployment

  • Analysing Progress and Current Trends in Tackling Youth Unemployment
  • Exploring the Potential of the European Youth Initiative in Reducing Youth Unemployment
  • Consider Future Policy Recommendations to Help Young People Develop Secure Professional Lives
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11.10 Morning Coffee Break

Training for the Future: Preparing Young People for Entering the Job Market 

  • Improving Synergy between the World of the Education and Professional Life 
  • Assessing the Importance of Vocational Education and Training 
  • Addressing the Recognition of the Skills and Qualifications in Connection to Skills Needs
  • Stimulating New Forms of Cooperation between Students and Professionals
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12.30 Networking Lunch

Better Opportunities to Access Employment: The Role of Employers and Employment Services 

  • Discussing the Role of Early Orientation on the Job Market and the Role of Career Advice 
  • Enhancing Cooperation between Different Employment Services in Ensuring the Employee Rights
  • Promoting the Importance of Offering Remunerated Traineeships
  • Exploring the Programmes that Match Jobs and Job-seekers across Borders
14.00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Tapping into Youth Potential: Promoting Innovation through Entrepreneurship

  • Enhancing Youth Employability by Promoting Entrepreneurship: Examining the European Solidarity Corps
  • Exploring the Importance of  Possessing an Adequate Digital Skills- Set
  • Supporting Self-employment and Youth Business Initiatives 
15.20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16.00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16.30 Symposium Close

Who Should Attend?

  • Ministries of Employment and Social Affairs
  • Employer’s Organisations
  • European Employment Associations
  • Employment Agencies
  • Career Advisers
  • Youth Organisations
  • Social Funds
  • Social Services
  • Training Managers
  • Recruitment Advisers
  • Human Rights Groups
  • Trade Unions
  • Research Institutes
  • Social Innovation Centres
  • National Departments for Social and Family Affairs
  • Lifelong Learning Institutes
  • Social Advisers
  • Active Ageing Organisations
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Local Authorities
  • Employment and Social Inclusion Institutes
  • Labour Economy Research Centres
  • Labour Market Institutes
  • Academics
  • PhD Candidates
  • European Social Organisational Science Consultancies
  • Social Partners
  • Pension Organisations
  • Associations of Social Enterprises
  • Sheltered Employment and Labour Integration Organisations
  • Physical and Social Rehabilitation Centres
  • Disabled People's Rehabilitation and Employment Unions
  • Vocational Training Centres
  • Innovation and Personal Development Centres
  • Special Employment Unions
  • Registrars
  • Senior University Administrators
  • University Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors
  • Quality Assurance Institutes
  • Researchers
  • National Ministries for Education
  • International Organisations
  • Higher Education Organisations
  • Data Centres
  • Standardisation Organisations
  • Careers Services and Advisers
  • Research Councils
  • Schools and FE Colleges
  • Funding Bodies
  • Local Authority Education Officers
  • Representatives of Industry and Commerce
  • Education Charities and NGOs
  • Lifelong Learning Practitioners
  • Equal Opportunities Officers
  • Access Officers
  • Student Organisations

@PublicPolicyEx , #EUevents


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1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium




All Dates

  • Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:00 - 16:30

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