July 21, 2013

EU Youth Action Plan announced, Angela Merkel says youth unemploymentis biggest problem facing Europe

Speaking at a summit of youth unemployment in Europe to the Guardian the German Chancellor said:
"Youth unemployment is perhaps the most pressing problem facing Europe at the present time."
She continued: 
"We in Germany have learned a lot from successfully reducing unemployment by means of structural reform since reunification and we can now bring that experience to bear."
Angela Merkel explained that the Berlin conference of July 3 2013 was about best practice, pointing out that Germany has halved its youth unemployment since 2005. She continued:
"We are now in a position to offer a place on a [dual system] training programme to every young person who wants one. That wasn't always the case... One thing that experience taught us is that there is of course no need for any country to introduce the whole dual system straight away. Inter-company vocational training can be an alternative."
She made an interesting note on how people look upon the various education paths:
"We should not just try to make our young people more academic. Germany is seeing the positive effects of skilled workers and master craftsmen having an excellent reputation too."
One of the most notable aspects of the report on Merkel was her comments that Europe should open up the Erasmus exchange programme to include vocational training.
Being an Erasmus alumnus I can say with experience that the year abroad of academic study was derisory. There was no structure, routine or real help and support. A proper daily routine structure around a well planned vocational programme would give the parameters that would get the most out of the time for the young person; and in fact make the transition easier. Academic study is a lonely affair. Whereas vocational training is far more sociable. 

Read the original article in full here.

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