August 28, 2014

Youth unemployment in southern Europe due to “structural weaknesses”

A lack of clear routes into labor markets is exacerbating youth unemployment in southern Europe, according to a new study.

Data compiled by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) warned that “structural weaknesses” in countries such as Spain, Italy, and Portgual are keeping youth unemployment levels at worrying highs.

The paper cited a lack of education reforms as the major barrier for the nations’ youth. As such, while EU policy is currently focused on furthering job creation measures, the skillsets of young people is unlikely to improve sufficiently.

President of the ZEW Professor Clemens Fuest commented: “Job creation measures and public training courses are known to be no strong bridge in the labor market.”

He added that EU countries “should focus on targeted instruments such as further training for young people without qualifications. Moreover, the quality of job counselling and employment services needs to be improved.”

Robert Lerman picks up on this point about further training, with reference to apprenticeships. He explains how investing in apprenticeship programs can generate good profits for firms, as well as ensuring that employees have mastered a specific relevant skillset.

Related article:
Do firms benefit from apprenticeship investments? by Robert Lerman