AUTHORITIES SUCH AS THE European Commission and the European Trade
Union Confederation (ETUC) concerned about a ‘lost generation’ of young
people (see our last issue) hit by
the hugely increased unemployment levels and reduction of opportunities
caused by the current economic depression, news comes from two Member
States of the effects. In Italy unemployment among 15 to
24-year-olds stands at 41.9% but, even worse, the country also
boasts the highest proportion in Europe of young people ‘doing
nothing’. Over a third of those aged 15 to 29 are not in education,
employment or training (NEETs). Hand-in-hand with this problem is the
rise of temporary contracts and fixed-term jobs so that, according to
the International Labour Organisation (ILO) nearly 32% of those
employed were in these ‘precarious’ circumstances in 2012. Now labour
minister Flavio Zanonato has announced tax incentives for firms to
recruit young people as part of a national action plan.
In Sweden sustained high youth unemployment over the last twenty years has been blamed for the continuing rise in suicide among young people. The rate for the 16 to 24 age group is now five times what it was one hundred years ago. According to the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet jobs, education and apprenticeships are all necessary to show youngsters ‘that they are important. Because this is about saving an entire generation’.