Assembly: We must rescue “lost generation” of youth from financial crisis

Measures to combat joblessness, underemployment, poverty and exclusion among young people are vital to rescue a “lost generation” from fiscal austerity.

This warning from the Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, came in a draft resolution adopted yesterday, entitled :‘The young generation sacrificed:Social, economic and political consequences of the financial crisis.’

“Europe risks not only producing a lost generation but also undermining its political stability, social cohesion, justice and peace, as well as long-term competitiveness and development prospects,” said parliamentarian Luca Volontè. “Young people should be viewed not as a problem to be addressed but as an asset.”

The committee wants youth policies to feature high on the political agenda. Macroeconomic policies should be refocused on sustainable job creation and investment in lifelong education and training. Tax breaks for young entrepreneurs or tax incentives for employers who offer apprenticeships to young people as well as better public social security coverage should complement national “youth guarantee” schemes. The committee believes this would ensure that no young person is out of employment, education or training for more than four months against their will.

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