Developing high quality apprenticeships and internships are key to tackling Europe’s youth unemployment, argues Microsoft’s Afke Schaart.
Six years on from the start of the economic crisis, unemployment remains stubbornly high in Europe. It\’s been well documented that Europe’s youth have borne the brunt of the downturn whether through lost job opportunities or serial unpaid internships.
Europe still has some way to go to get back on the path to strong economic growth and youth have to be the ones to steer this course. Governments, business and social partners can and should act to provide young people with the high-quality, on the job training schemes that will serve them as a passport to career development.
Due to the alarming combination of high youth unemployment, job precariousness and skills deficits, EU governments are increasingly looking to traineeships as effective school-to-work transition mechanisms. However, research from the European commission has highlighted growing concerns across the EU about the quality and fairness of traineeships as well as their effectiveness as a career stepping stone.
Among the most common shortcomings are low learning content, poor working conditions and inadequate compensation, which can lead to social discrimination.
The fact that millions of jobless young people are under pressure to fill the growing gap in their CV should not be an excuse for employers to offer them low quality, poorly remunerated or unpaid internships instead of the true learning experience at work they need.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at