The Youth Guarantee and Lifelong Guidance
High levels of youth unemployment, under-employment, early school-leaving and social/economic inactivity of young Europeans have developed into a deep and burning issue during the last five years. This provides a strong challenge to the European social values which underpin the European Social Model and cohesion policies. The political leaders of the European Union have accordingly agreed a new European initiative for young people known as the Youth Guarantee Initiative (YGI). From October 2013 and into the first months of 2014 all European Union member states are building or further developing their national Youth Guarantee action plans. Using the open method of co-ordination (OMC) mechanism, the European Commission and member-state representatives (Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of the European Union) are calling for action at European and also at member-state levels.
This European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) Concept Note is designed to support the national administrations’ work in the development and review of their responses to the challenges set by the YGI. The paper contends that successful and sustainable implementation of the Initiative can only be secured through effective integration of lifelong guidance practice into national programmes. Lifelong guidance refers to a range of activities that enables citizens to identify their capacities, competencies and interests and to make career decisions that enable them to manage their own life paths in learning, work and other settings.
The paper collates existing good practices that describe a range of ways in which national governments can integrate their existing lifelong guidance provision with the demands of the YGI. It describes activities that provide focal points for young people so that they know where and how to find support, outreach strategies for those that are not engaging with services, personalised approaches, support into a range of second-chance learning opportunities to improve skills, programmes to support entrepreneurship, targeted and well-designed wage and recruitment subsidies, and programmes that promote and support youth mobility.
Publication reproduced with the kind permission of the ELGPN and the authors.