On 25th February 2014, MEPs discussed the issues surrounding the Youth Guarantee scheme during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Youth Guarantee ensures that all young people under 25 get a job, apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.
Presenting her view of the Youth Guarantee, MEP Zofija Mazej Kukovič said that ?Those who are young need to have hope of being able to start a family, take out a loan or have a roof over their heads. In addition, transition from education to workplace is becoming more and more difficult, which has left us in Slovenia with 30.000 unemployed young people.? Member States can obtain co-funding from the European Social Fund for policies such as provision of job-search support or training, extension and modernisation of apprenticeship systems, hiring subsidies or traineeship grants. Furthermore, regions that have more than 25% youth unemployment rate are eligible for additional funding from the Youth Employment Initiative. Because Slovenia fulfils with this criterion, it is eligible for an additional ?8.61 million.
Mazej Kukovič concluded her speech by saying: ?Only if the Slovenian government implements its Youth Guarantee plan sufficiently quickly, will the hope of Slovenian youth not be in vain. Austria is a good example of a country where youth unemployment is solved with guarantee schemes and European funds. This is why young people in Slovenia should be encouraged to take the risk and become entrepreneurs or self-employed. They must also be told of the opportunities offered by food production, especially when linked with health and uncultivated land.?