02.11.2015: Study on youth unemployment

The alarming rise of youth unemployment rates following the recent economic turmoil has challenged national as well as European labour market policies.

With more than 5.5 million young people in the EU struggling to find jobs, there is an urgent need to develop strategies for combatting youth unemployment, in order toavoid a lost generation of European youths threatened by lasting disadvantages in terms of labour market and social position.

Following the financial and debt crisis, youth unemployment sharply increased in all EU member states except Germany and reached alarmingly high levels in thesouthern European countries. Nevertheless, youth unemployment is not a recent phenomenon that can be ascribed only to the Great Recession. Most Europeancountries have faced difficulties in integrating youths in the labour market for many years, and youth unemployment rates are generally higher than adult unemploymentrates.A particularly alarming feature of some youth labour markets are the high rates of young people that are disconnected, as they are neither in education, employmentor training. In Italy, the proportion of such disconnected youths has ranged between 15 – 20 % since 2000, and Greece and Spain have reached this level in recent years, too. Another alarming feature is that in some countries, especially in Southern Europe, a huge proportion of young workers are employed on temporary contracts that are not related to apprenticeships and require very long periods to make the transition to permanent positions. Thus, youth are highly at risk to bear most of the adjustment to cyclical fluctuations and to be excluded from long-term investment into training.

As in Father Kolping’s time, young people are on the road today in search of a good education and leave their hometown. In many countries, Kolping has given them a place to call home and accompanies them in manifold ways for many years.  Kolping supports them, who leave their homes for the first time and find themselves in a new work-related and social environment, because they are especially in need of advice and support.

These trainees are receiving dual training at the Kolping Hotel in Brasov, Romania.