How to boost local innovations for young people’s transition to work? What are good practices in the regions of Europe to fight youth unemployment?

These were the key questions discussed during the workshop of the European Youth Forum, StartNet and European Youth Capitals at this year European Week of Regions and Cities. The #EURegionsWeek is an annual Brussels-based hybrid event dedicated to regional policy. It serves as a platform for discussing and showcasing the development of EU cohesion policy and making decision-makers more aware of the importance of regions and cities in EU policymaking. Youth empowerment is, together with green and digital transition, and regional cohesion, a central theme in this year’s edition.

The young socialist Member of the European Parliament Alicia Homs underlined how important quality opportunities and paid internships are for the EU Youth Guarantee and young people in Europe. The Deputy Major of a Brussels municipality also acknowledged the importance of the Youth Guarantees to get young people into jobs. He also said that new work realities like platform work have to be regulated to avoid the exploitation of youth.

The Deputy Major of Tirana gave various examples how youth involvement can be part of the solution, based on their experience as a youth capital. Young people can be empowered and become actors of their own destiny. Such was also the experience in Klaipeda (Youth Capital in Lithuania in 2021).

Jan Wilker shared various good practices of youth transition initiatives of the StartNet Europe network illustrating how different sectors and stakeholders can join forces and produce a more lasting collective impact. Youth participation (StartNet Youth in Italy), social inclusion (Fundación Secretariado Gitano in Spain and Cometa Formazione in Italy), educational cooperation (Chamber of workers Upper Austria) and apprenticeships coalitions (City of Mannheim) were highlighted in particular.

Speakers and participants agreed that remaining challenges for young people to enter the labour market require continuous investment, collaboration and innovation. With the current European Year of Youth being followed by the Year of Skills in 2023, there might be an opportunity for these issues to remain on the top of the agenda of the EU, as well as of cities and regions.

You can watch the recording here.