EU grants EUR 100 M to help combat youth unemployment

The European Commission will grant Romania some EUR 100 million, as part of the Youth Employment Initiative to combat youth unemployment, the Executive in Brussels announced. The Youth Employment Initiative is a EUR 3 billion program for countries where 25 percent of youths are either unemployed or not enrolled in an educational institution. “Romania is severely affected by youth unemployment and I don’t believe it’s enough to simply say we need to create jobs,” Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a press conference.
In order to reduce unemployment among youths, Romania must allocate at least the same amount through the European Social Fund. The Commission has determined that Romania must allocate at least 30.8 percent (EUR 4.7 billion) of cohesion funds for the 2014/2020 fiscal period to the European Social Fund. On other hand, the Ministry of Labor has found European financing sources for aiding only 5,052 youths who either failed the Baccalaureate exam or are unemployed, out of around 40,000 high school and post-secondary school graduates who filed for unemployment benefits last year alone. Therefore, from a budget of EUR 7.8 billion (solely from EU funds), around 3,500 youths aged 15 to 24 will have received professional training by June 2015, over 1,000 youths will have gained sufficient knowledge about opening new businesses, and around 400 will have been part of apprenticeships. By the end of the program, out of approximately 300,000 youths who have failed the Baccalaureate exam in the last three years, at least 600 of them should find a job.
On Wednesday, two pilot-projects co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) through Sectoral Operational Program Development of Human Resources (POSDRU) 2007-2013 and preceding the ‘Warranties for youths’ scheme were launched by the Ministry of Labor: ‘Investing in Youths is Investing in Our Future’ and ‘Warranties for YOUths!’ Over RON 38 million has been allotted for the two initiatives.

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