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Press release – European Commission and CSR Europe

The Commission and business leaders partner up to boost youth employment and inclusion in Europe

Brussels, 17 November 2015

Today the European Commission together with companies launch the European Pact for Youth, a mutual engagement of business leaders and the EU to create a culture of business-education partnerships to improve the chances for young people of getting a job, at the Enterprise 2020 Summit. The Pact, initiated by The European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR Europe), is an appeal to all business, social partners, education and training providers and other stakeholders to develop or consolidate partnerships in support of youth employability and inclusion. Together we will support the creation of 10.000 quality business-education partnerships, with the shared target to establish together at least 100,000 new good quality apprenticeships, traineeships or entry-level jobs.

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: Our top priority has been to get Europe growing again and to stimulate good quality job creation. I welcome these business-education partnerships leading to 100,000 new youth opportunities. It builds on the successful European Alliance for Apprenticeships. The Commission, together with business, is moving now towards one quarter million new opportunities for young people across Europe”. I look forward to many more businesses and associations joining this Pact to boost opportunities for young people in Europe.”

Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe said: “with the Pact, our ambition is to deliver a long standing impact for young people’s future jobs and Europe’s sustainable competitiveness. Business-education partnerships are a must! We are confident that this will be a game-changer, much like Erasmus has been over the past 28 years.”

The European Commission will provide technical support to the Pact and assist the participating stakeholders in its implementation. The outcomes of this joint work will be presented at the 1st Enterprise-Education Summit in December 2017.

This initiative has the endorsement of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, and the Presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the European Council, Donald Tusk.

The Pact aims to help build a pro-youth and pro-innovation Europe by creating a fair and equitable culture of partnerships between business, education and young people. These partnerships are designed to enhance the quality of training and skills that young people can acquire, including transversal digital, entrepreneurial, green and soft skills. Examples are initiatives that support non-formal and informal learning, projects that boost apprenticeships or aim to make learning science and technology more attractive. Finally, they will support Europe’s teachers and particularly, equip young teachers with the necessary skills to become leaders in the classroom.

Background

About the European Pact for Youth:

In order to be competitive in the global market, companies in Europe more than ever need young people with the right skills. At the same time, Europe has a significant untapped human capital potential. To achieve higher sustainable growth and more innovation, and take full advantage of the skills and talent available in Europe, business and the education sector need to open up to the world and to each other.

About the European Alliance for Apprenticeships:

The Alliance brings together public authorities, chambers of commerce, industry and crafts, businesses, social partners, education and training providers, regions, youth and non-profit organisations, think tanks and research institutes in order to promote apprenticeship schemes and initiatives across Europe.

Last June, more than forty companies and other organisations joined the Alliance and committed to providing a total of 140,000 apprenticeships and training to young people.

About the Summit:

The Enterprise 2020 Summit is the latest step in a series of initiatives launched last June in Milan as part of the Enterprise 2020 Manifesto.

The Manifesto called on businesses and governments to work together and take action on three strategic priorities during the next five years:

  1. Make employability and inclusion a priority across boards, management and value chains;
  2. Stimulate companies to engage as committed partners with communities, cities and regions to develop and implement new sustainable production methods, consumption and livelihoods;
  3. Place transparency and respect for human rights at the heart of business conduct.

More information

European Pact for Youth explanatory note

European Pact for Youth

European Pact for Youth infographic

Twitter: #E2020summit, #PactforYouth

Press contacts:

Christian WIGAND (+32 229-62253)

Aleksandra KOZIK (+ 32 4 89 32 97 10)

Caroline GIRAUD (+32 4 85 23 00 81)

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