From 19 to 21 September 2023, the EU-funded EU4Youth Phase III programme “Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship” invited representatives of public employment services of the Eastern Partnership countries to Lithuania to introduce them to the implementation of Youth Guarantee (YG) measures.
Representatives of central and regional administrations, and specialists directly involved in youth employment initiatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, participated in the study visit.
The YG scheme aims to secure a smooth transition from school to work, support labour market integration and make sure that no young person is left out. Within YG, every young person in the EU gets “a good quality offer” for work, education, apprenticeship, or training within four months of becoming unemployed or finishing their education. Following the implementation of the YG in 2013, youth unemployment had reached a record low of 14.9% in the EU in February 2020, shortly before pandemic-related lockdowns were imposed, according to the European Commission. Lithuania is now among the EU countries with the lowest youth unemployment.
The study visit aimed to provide comprehensive insights and good practice into the design, planning, execution, and subsequent assessment of YG measures across different EU member states and to present lessons learnt.
Since in EU member states public employment services (PES) play a major role in the implementation of youth employment measures, the participants visited the Lithuanian PES. Here they learnt about the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of youth employment measures in Lithuania and heard about the practical experience of youth work in Sweden.
Easter Partner countries’ representatives visited the Regional Career Centre in Alytus to witness how young people receive vocational guidance, make occupational choices, and plan their careers in Lithuania, at the same time being guided through various tests and psychological counselling. Collaborative efforts between PES and social partners were showcased as well.
The meeting in Alytus City Municipality highlighted the municipality’s role in reaching out to NEETs (Neither in Education, Employment, nor Training), and provided insights into the employment programmes aimed at activating young people and providing support for young entrepreneurs in the labour market.
Meetings at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour touched upon legal issues of YG, focusing on the drafting and implementation of relevant laws and regulations, and the allocation of financial and human resources.
Participants also visited one of the Lithuanian enterprises to discover practical cases of collaboration between PES and employers in employing young people or orientating them to have traineeship or apprenticeship in green and digital sectors.
Financed by the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the EU4Youth Phase III Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship programme is implemented by the Central Project Management Agency (CPVA) in the Eastern Partnership countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The initiative will continue its activities until the end of 2025, focusing on providing technical assistance to governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in addressing youth employment and employability.
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