Fondazione per la Ricerca sulla Migrazione e Integrazione delle Tecnologie
Close this search box.
Errico B., Bisogni F., Cavallini S., Soldi R. (2022) “The local implementation of the Reinforced Youth Guarantee”
Committente: European Committee of the Regions. 
Periodo: 2022
Url: The local implementation of the Reinforced Youth Guarantee

On 2 July 2020, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) received a Communication from the European Commission on a ‘proposal for a Council Recommendation on Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee and replacing the Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee’ (COM(2020) 277 final). The proposal was adopted by the Council in October 2020. Its objective is to better support youth employment across the European Union (EU) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which generated a high youth unemployment rate and increased the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs). The Council Recommendation on Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee (hereinafter referred to as ‘2020 Council Recommendation’) significantly reorganised its guidelines through four different phases: mapping, outreach, preparation and offer. In February 2021, the CoR adopted the Opinion on ‘Youth Employment Support: A Bridge to Jobs for the Next Generation Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘CoR Opinion’), providing a regional and local perspective on the issue of youth unemployment and making specific proposals regarding the 2020 Council Recommendation. Against this backdrop, the present study aims to analyse the implementation of the 2020 Council Recommendation at local level considering the four phases mentioned above and the core elements addressed by the CoR Opinion, namely cooperation between local or regional authorities (LRAs) and relevant stakeholders, quality of offers, mobility, territoriality, evidence-based policymaking and sustainability of postings through upskilling and re-skilling. More specifically, the study provides an overview of different approaches taken by a representative sample of local providers of Youth Guarantee (YG) schemes (Public Employment Services – PESs) in order to assess the level of coherence with the 2020 Council Recommendation and propose an understanding of the reasons why certain PESs implement YG schemes differently than others. Potential good practices are also highlighted through case studies. The study is based on two main methodological approaches: desk research and review of available data at local and regional level related to local/regional offices of PESs; and answers gathered from local and regional PESs implementing YG schemes at local level across the EU through a wide consultation launched in the framework of this study. Against this backdrop, a general framework related to the key features of YG schemes implemented at local and regional level across the EU is provided. The study is structured in four parts. In Part 1, the state of play of the key features of YG schemes at local level is presented. Upon the evidence that YG implementation plans have been modified or are about to be modified in some Member States in order to take the 2020 Council Recommendation into account, there is less evidence of adaptation of YG schemes at local level. Still, local and regional PESs often implement schemes that already comply with the reinforced approach envisaged in the recommendation. A very simple example is the extension of the age of supported NEETs to 29 years, which was already implemented in several countries well before the adoption of the 2020 Council Recommendation. Part 2 is focused on providing an inventory of local and regional youth guarantee schemes implemented across the EU, referring to the four phases of mapping, outreach, preparation and offer and to the core elements of the CoR Opinion, i.e., cooperation with LRAs, quality of offers, mobility, territoriality, evidence-based policy-making and sustainability. It presents the diversity of approaches used by local and regional PESs depending on national circumstances. By way of example, if we look at the outreach phase, we can appreciate how the approach of reaching out to NEETs has some degree of flexibility. Digital and user-friendly tools used by young people (e.g., podcasts) can be combined with peer-to-peer strategies involving the presence of youngsters such as street counsellors, youth mediators, youth workers or young ambassadors who work as a bridge with vulnerable NEETs who may face barriers in accessing YG schemes. In Part 3, specific implementation areas (i.e., ways to identify NEETs, type of approach for NEETs’ engagement, type of individualised actions, type of partnership, cooperation with LRAs and quality of offers) are looked into in more detail through the development of ten case studies. These cases provide a better understanding of how different approaches are used in different local and regional realities, showing some innovative ways to implement YG schemes at local level. In some cases, an integrated approach which crosscuts all phases is found (see the cases in Estonia and Bulgaria). In other cases, innovative schemes target a limited number of phases but achieve effective results (as in the cases of France and Denmark). Finally, Part 4 is divided in two subsections. The first one proposes foresight considerations regarding youth unemployment, indicating that it is necessary to define policy actions which address youth unemployment not only in order to recover from an unexpected crisis, but also to take advantage of some trends which were suddenly put under the spotlight by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., digitalisation, diversity of skills’ requirements, different forms of mobility and globalisation of postings). The second part then presents concrete recommendations to LRAs, Member States and the EU regarding the implementation of Reinforced Youth Guarantee schemes at local level. By way of example, Member States and LRAs shall give more visibility to the Reinforced Youth Guarantee scheme by duly labelling programmes and initiatives ascribed to it. Member States shall also calibrate adequate financial resources for youth unemployment and encourage the use of structural funds to support long-term and sustainable interventions addressing NEETs, with a special focus on regions where they are most needed. Further to this, they should facilitate partnerships at local level in all the phases of the Reinforced Youth Guarantee scheme in order to leverage multidisciplinary and professional competencies which can be combined to develop specific interventions for addressing NEETs according to their needs.