European Parliament Engagement Report on Skills Policies for Fighting Youth Unemployment
The Scottish Government has been working with the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs to assist with the development of EU policy in relation to youth employment.
In October 2015, the Scottish Government submitted a response to a draft report by the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee on ‘Skills Policies for Fighting Youth Unemployment’. The Committee intended to submit the report to the European Commission before beginning negotiations on how to implement the report’s recommendations. The report set out to further a common overarching EU policy on addressing youth unemployment, capable of better supporting action at national level – this is an approach which the Scottish Government is supportive of as it recognises the need to address this pressing problem across Europe.
The Scottish Government’s response outlined how the Scottish Government and our wider partners are already taking action which would meet many of the recommendations identified in the draft report. For example, through the Developing Young Workforce Strategy and its seven year national implementation programme, the Scottish Government is demonstrating a clear commitment to building up partnerships between local authorities, education and employment services and the business community to support the creation, implementation and monitoring of employment strategies and action plans. These actions aim to increase skill levels in the workforce and thereby not only address unemployment, but also drive increased productivity and growth, higher real wages and social mobility across Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s commitment and action to expand and enhance our Modern Apprenticeship programme is another strong example of how the Scottish Government aims to make better use of workplace training and high-quality apprenticeships.
The Scottish Government’s response and subsequent discussions with MEPs provided the Committee with evidence in support of their recommendations and on the key issues that the Scottish Government and partners are addressing through the Developing Young Workforce strategy and implementation programme. Another positive impact of our cooperation with MEPs is that the door has now been opened for more Scottish Government input into the European Parliament’s work with regards to best practices concerning youth employment. In January 2016 the Committee set out their recommendations to the whole of the European Parliament in a resolution on ‘Skills Policies for Fighting Youth Unemployment’ Following adoption of the resolution on 19 January 2016, the Scottish Government’s evidence will continue to support the Committee in their dialogue with the European Commission, to influence future policy development.
For more information, you can access the Scottish Government's response in full here.