The European Commission has warned that young adults are twice as likely to lose their jobs during the current COVID-19 crisis than others in the workforce.
Through a proposed fund worth 22 billion euros, the European Commission is asking EU member states to incentivize small to medium sized businesses, SMEs, to hire young adults up to the age of 29 years old.
The commission has just launched, what it calls, the Youth Employment Support Package. During the current pandemic, the commission says young adults are twice as likely to lose their jobs. They have less secure contracts and so invariably are the first to go.
The EU is extending its ‘Youth Guarantee Scheme,’ which promises to offer a job, education, or an apprenticeship within four months.
The problem is the last one did not really work. Even before COVID-19, youth unemployment was out of control in many eurozone countries. For example, it was at 30 percent in Greece, Spain and Italy. The new financial crisis in the EU is already having a severe impact.
The European Commission points out that prior to the current crisis there was a major deficit in the 27-nation EU in terms of skills necessary for this digital age. The European Trade Union Confederation, which is the umbrella body for all workers’ unions in the EU, claims 900,000 people lost their jobs during March, April and May alone due to COVID-19. In addition to this, 42 million workers have been temporarily laid off.
The European Trade Union Confederation has warned that youth unemployment in the EU is set to rise by 70 percent unless drastic measures are taken by governments and institutions. Unions are calling on EU leaders to stop dithering over a proposed 750-billion-euro COVID-19 recovery fund.