Friday 7 February 2014

Green MEP: Coalition must enact EU Green 'Youth Guarantee'

LONDON'S Green MEP Jean Lambert has called on the Government to enact a Green plan to guarantee a job, training place or education for every young person.

Speaking at a debate on the effects of austerity measures on young people tonight, she will call for a 'Youth Guarantee' - already agreed at EU level- to be implemented in the UK.

Ms Lambert, who serves as a member of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee and is a member of the cross-party Intergroup on Youth Issues, said youth unemployment threatened to ensure that any austerity-led economic recovery was short-lived.
She said: 

"Tackling unemployment sustainably, and reducing the welfare and social costs associated with it, mean stepping up our efforts to tackle youth unemployment.

"Youth unemployment can result in permanent 'scars', such as increased risk of future unemployment and permanent social exclusion.

"Last year the European Commission and European Council agreed to Green proposals that all young people should be offered work or a training place after four months on the dole - and that cash from the European Social Fund should help put the guarantee in place for countries that can't afford it.*

"The 'Youth Guarantee' would build on Green proposals and successful schemes already running in Finland, Sweden and Austria - but not England."

Figures show the problem is getting worse due to the economic crises currently affecting the EU, with insecure forms of employment, short-term and part-time contracts and unpaid work placement schemes often replacing existing jobs.

Ms Lambert will make her comments at a debate examining the impacts of austerity measures on young people - particularly youth unemployment - and xenophobia.

Entitled 'Is Europe's Youth Being Thrown on the Bonfire of Austerity?', other speakers include Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Shahrar Ali, NUS Black Students Officer Aaron Kiely, London Young Labour's Philip Freeman, Nazek Ramadan of Migrant Voice and Danny McGowan of the PCS union.

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