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Youth Guarantee – two new reports focus on vulnerable groups, employment and entrepreneurship

29 October 2018


The two reports highlight concrete practices on key aspects of the Youth Guarantee – activation measures for vulnerable groups of young people, and employment offers. Both reports build on experience from the ground, following five years of Youth Guarantee implementation across the EU.

Supporting vulnerable groups effectively

The Youth Guarantee has been getting more and more young people into work or training over the past five years, but those that face multiple obstacles to employment – such as young migrants or those with a disability – have not always been a part of its success story.

The report on activation measures for young people in vulnerable situations displays promising practices that work for young people with more specific needs - to make sure they do not get left behind.

For some young people, health or housing issues may need to be addressed first before entry into the labour market is possible – requiring strong cooperation between service providers. For others, their confidence must be built. Here, individualised support, ‘youth-to-youth’ counselling in partnership with NGOs, and co-design approaches are most effective, as they empower young people, creating a sense of ownership and commitment to their activation.

The report also shows that being flexible is key, for example, adjusting objectives or approaches if the young person is not engaging well in an intervention.

Measuring results for vulnerable groups also requires a shift in approach: measuring the ‘distance travelled’, as opposed to the 'outcomes achieved’ works better, as results may take time and multiple interventions.   

Employment incentives and entrepreneurship

The report on employment and entrepreneurship under the Youth Guarantee examines employment incentives, direct job creation measures and start-up incentives that help young people overcome employment barriers.

Employment incentives are one of the most common types of Active Labour Market Policy (ALMP) included in Youth Guarantee schemes. They generally take the form of employment subsidies or reductions in hiring costs through social security bonuses.

The report outlines examples of promising programmes that link employment offers with vocational guidance and training as well as mentoring.

It also underlines the benefits of integrated approaches, instead of implementing wage subsidies in isolation. This is particularly the case for young people who need additional sociological and psychological support to overcome the barriers they face. For these young people, measures solely aimed at increasing employability might be insufficient.

On the other side of the spectrum, direct employment creation programmes and start-up incentives are much less common. The report confirms that start-up incentives work much better when they combine different measures such as entrepreneurship training, counselling, mentoring, financial assistance, access to physical and network capital and follow-up services.