A necessity that became an idea!
When we think at the word “youth”, the first things that come into our minds are energy, creativity, passion and enthusiasm. But there is the other side of the coin as well; inactivity, disappointment, resignation and indignation. And unfortunately, there is a big percentage of young people in Europe -and even the majority in some European countries- that are represented by the negative aspect of the coin.
Indeed, the economic crisis had seriously hit youth. Youth unemployment in Europe is twice as high as unemployment rates for all ages. According to Eurostat’s data, EU-28 unemployment rates for people under 25 years old has reached 23.5% in 2013. Greece and Spain’s percentages for the same year have peaked at 58.3% and 55.5% respectively, followed by Croatia, Italy, Cyprus and Portugal. However, these figures do not automatically ensure that the amount of employed young people has jobs matching their qualifications or desires. Many times they have to follow a career path distinct from their field of studies as the needs are more market-oriented. At the same time there is a great concern about the number of NEETs youth (not in employment, education or training) which is increasing more and more. In 2008, the share of young people in the NEET group was 13% of the population of those aged 15–24 in the EU28 compared with 15.9% in 2013, while only 4.5% of youth does not want to work unlike to 11.4% who would like to work. It is also known that after a long period of being unemployed, young people often lose their self-confidence, self-esteem, motivation and creativity. Because of this, they are not so interested in participating in the society, they feel ashamed of themselves, they do not socialize anymore with their friends, and they finally become socially excluded.
European Union is more than concerned about the youth unemployment problem. Erasmus+ is a tangible example of the measures and actions being taken to reinforce youth and battle unemployment. But this is just a start. We, as youth organizations, need to act on local level to ensure that more young unemployed people will be influenced by those policies. We have to give them again the stimulus and the chance to dream about their lives and design their future the way they want. And at the same time, we should equip them with all the necessary competences which will make them skilful hunters when searching for a job.
For this reason, we decided to work on this topic by creating a project that will deal with youth unemployment and empower young unemployed people to work again after exploring and enhancing their skills and potential. This project will be the starting point that will help them to reconsider their abilities and capacities and inspire them to re-enter the labour market.