UK spending of EU youth unemployment money misdirected, says report
10 Apr 2014 04:40 PM
Youth unemployment has left "a generation
scarred", according to a House of Lords report . With the rate of young
jobless in the EU still at nearly double its pre-crisis level, and the UK
experiencing exceptionally high levels of unemployment, the report calls on the
Government to rethink the way it uses European
House of Lords EU Committee calls on the Government to adopt the EU's
flagship youth unemployment scheme, the Youth Guarantee – which would
require the Government to ensure that all young people find suitable work,
training or further education opportunities within four months of being
unemployed. The Committee urges the Government to use EU money to support the
introduction of a Youth Guarantee, rather than putting the funds towards
existing domestic measures such as the Youth Contract.
EU Sub-Committee that deals with employment, and conducted the inquiry, heard
that the Youth Contract had underperformed and was not popular in the private
sector, while the Youth Guarantee had been successful in other European
Five regions in the UK were highlighted in the report as
having unemployment levels so high that they qualified for additional EU
funding. These areas were: Tees Valley & Durham; West Midlands; South
Western Scotland; Inner London; and Merseyside. The Committee is urging the
Government use the European funding to run pilot Youth Guarantee schemes in
these five areas.
Commenting on the report, Committee Chairman Baroness
"Our report finds that a generation of young
people across Europe has been left scarred by joblessness. The youth
unemployment rate in the EU is more than double the general unemployment rate,
and in the UK in the last few years we have seen the worst ever levels of youth
unemployment. Although the picture is starting to improve, the damage has been
report looked at ways in which EU funding could be better used to help get
young people into work, and we believe that the Government should rethink its
centralised approach to spending EU money, and that instead it should tap into
the expertise of local organisations. We would also encourage the UK Government
and other Member State governments to use European money to establish new
initiatives and learn from other countries."
Commenting on how the UK currently uses EU funds,
Baroness O'Cathain added:
"The Government thinks it knows best in this area,
but we believe that not introducing a Youth Guarantee is unwise. We would urge
the Government to sign up to the Youth Guarantee instead of putting the money
towards existing domestic initiatives."
Overview of main recommendations in the
Government should move away from a centralised management of EU funds and make
the most of local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, who have links
to specialist organisations in their areas.
UK should use EU funds to adopt the Youth Guarantee, rather than putting these
funds towards existing measures such as the Youth Contract.
Youth Guarantee should be piloted in the five areas within the UK which are
eligible for additional EU funding due to their unemployment rates of 25% or
- When it comes to careers advice, the Government should
use EU money to fund more traditional face-to-face careers advice, rather than
focusing on online support.
- More needs to be done to address the skills mismatch in
the EU – It is expected that there will be around 900,000 unfilled ICT
vacancies by 2015 in the EU, while at the same time the number of ICT graduates
across Europe is falling.
Committee spoke to young people while on visits to Liverpool and Birmingham.
Sana Rashid is 27 and from Birmingham. She has a Business Enterprise degree as
well as three other vocational qualifications, and worked as a freelance in the
beauty therapy industry before seeking work in the customer service
"I've been looking for work in the customer
service industry for over 18 months, and have put so much effort into landing
the right job, but I've found the process extremely demoralising. I have
had interviews for jobs and have made dozens of job applications but I've
not had a job offer yet.
When I ask for feedback after interviews I'm told
that I didn't do anything wrong, but that there simply weren't enough
vacancies available, which is really frustrating to hear. For one job I went
for, I was one of 200 applicants for three roles.
It's really disheartening because I have done
everything you're supposed to do to get work, such as voluntary work and
going on training courses. I even volunteered at a supervisory role and had
great feedback from it.
has definitely knocked my self-esteem and at times I felt as if I was never
going to get a job. I'm now considering returning to self-employed work as
a beauty therapist once more."