The Department of Sociology in cooperation with the European Foundation for the Improvement in Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) recently hosted the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor. A select group of Trinity students engaged with the Commissioner following his keynote on ‘Youth, Jobs and Europe.’
On introducing the Commissioner, Dr Camilla Devitt, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology asserted that “fostering youth employment is an extremely important task for policymakers across Europe.”
Commissioner Andor presented comparative employment figures, with a particular emphasis on youth unemployment and outward migration across Europe. Currently, 5.7 million of those under 25 years of age are unemployed across the EU as a whole. The Commissioner set out how Europe’s policymakers have moved to promote employment, outlining various relevant measures within the Employment Package, a series of initiatives aimed at boosting growth and employment across the 27 Member States, and the Youth Package, launched in December of last year, a set of further measures targeted at young people, particularly those not in employment, education or training.
Dr Camilla Devitt, European Commissioner László Andor, Dr Daniel Faas and TCD students.
In particular, the European Commissioner discussed the ‘Youth Guarantees’ policy: the introduction of Youth Guarantees in each member state would ensure that every person up to the age of 25 years gets a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving school. He also stressed the efficacy of apprenticeship systems in promoting youth employment and maintained that intra-European mobility would be an increasingly significant response to youth unemployment and uneven economic development in Europe.
The question and answer session included discussions of the relationship between austerity and employment growth and the efficacy of EU employment and social programmes.