In order to be competitive in the global market, companies in Europe more than ever need young people with the right skills. At the same time, Europe has a significant untapped human capital potential.
To achieve higher sustainable growth and more innovation, and take full advantage of the skills and talent available in Europe, business and the education sector need to open up to the world and to each other. Business as usual is not an option!
Young people today have job opportunities that simply did not exist a decade ago. The pace of technology advancement and globalisation is relentless, and only likely to increase. Phenomena like the ‘internet of things’, demographic change and the circular economy require students and businesses to prepare for new and modern types of jobs many of which are still unknown today.
Meanwhile, more than 7 million 15-24 year olds in Europe are neither in employment, education or training (NEETs). There are still more than 4.4 million early leavers from education and training. They are missing out on the opportunity to learn and acquire skills, knowledge and competencies that they could use throughout their lives in order to participate fully in the development of a prosperous and inclusive society.
Furthermore, large numbers of young refugees and migrants with diverse levels and types of skills and qualifications are arriving in Europe, and could represent a valuable asset for the European economy. To compete in the global economy, Europe and its businesses need a highly skilled workforce capable of quickly adapting to new challenges. Therefore, business in collaboration with education must take an active role in tackling this challenge.
The Pact for Youth is a mutual engagement of business and the European Union leaders. Initiated by CSR Europe, it brings together representatives for business, education and youth, and the European institutions. We call on all businesses, social partners, education and training providers, youth organisations, public and private employment services, teachers, trainers, learners and parents as well as other key actors, to develop or consolidate partnerships in support of youth employability and inclusion.
We commit to pursuing the following objectives and actions:
In line with these objectives and proposed actions, business will engage with the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility and all supportive organisations, to support the creation of 10,000 quality business-education partnerships, with the shared target to establish together at least 100,000 new good quality apprenticeships, traineeships or entry-level jobs.
This will be achieved through 28 action plans established in the Member States, initiated and facilitated by CSR Europe. Candidate countries and EFTA countries are invited to join this initiative. To reach these targets, we will build on the resources and capacities available through existing campaigns and alliance initiatives on skills for jobs and apprenticeships.
The Pact will also make best use of relevant EU meetings and activities in 2016 and 2017 to mobilise stakeholders and to report on progress. The results and joint proposals for future policies on youth employability, transitions from education to employment, better skills matching and enhanced business competitiveness, that will stem from this Pact, will be presented at the 1st European Enterprise-Education Summit in late 2017.
Click below to access all European Pact for Youth resources.