In June 2014 nearly 5 million young people, aged 15-24, were unemployed in the EU-28 area. This represents an unemployment rate of 21.9 % in the EU-28 area and of 23.7 % in the euro zone. The gap between the countries with the highest and the lowest jobless rates for young people is extremely high and reaches nearly 50 %. This alarming situation is mainly due to the economic and social crisis. However, there are over 2 million unfilled vacancies in the EU. Therefore, the EU launched the Youth Employment Package in 2012 to tackle the issue.
The impact of the economic and financial crisis on Switzerland has remained to a large extent marginal compared to the EU, with a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.2% in 2014. It may be interesting to look at the framework conditions prevailing in Switzerland and to try to assess whether its education system (in particular the dual-education system) might have a decisive impact on low youth unemployment rates.
What is the role for schools? Do academic institutions meet the needs of the economy and what can be done to avoid skill-mismatch?
Which challenges are the Member States facing while implementing the Youth Employment Initiative and how could these barriers be overcome? Does the countries’ youth unemployment rate depict the real situation of young people on the labour market? What are the incentives for the private economy to promote youth employability and invest in education systems?