SHARE
COPY LINK

GERMANY

France and Germany plan deal for jobless youths

France and Germany are to launch a joint initiative this month aimed at tackling the growing problem of youth unemployment in Europe. The scheme, called "New Deal for Europe" will be used to promote education and training.

France and Germany plan deal for jobless youths
People queue at a Pole emploi (job centre) in September 2012. Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP

France and Germany plan to launch this month a "New Deal for Europe" against youth unemployment, which has topped 50 percent in several countries, with credits for companies that create jobs, a news report said Monday.

Under the initiative, billions of euros (dollars) in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) would be used to promote education, training and job placements for young people, reported Germany's Rheinische Post daily.

The plan will be presented in Paris on May 28 by French Labour Minister Michel Sapin, his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen and a group of companies, said the report citing unnamed government sources and conference organisers.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his French counterpart Pierre Moscovici would also join the town hall-style meeting organised by the EU bank and the German-American investor and philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen.

The "New Deal" – named to echo US president Franklin D. Roosevelt's Great Depression recovery plan — comes amid fears of a lost generation, especially in Greece and Spain where almost two out of three young people are unemployed.

A debate has raged over the tough austerity promoted by Germany and others to reduce European debt mountains and proposals for stimulus programmes that would revive struggling economies but also add to public deficits.

The new plan builds on a six-billion-euro ($7.8 billion) initiative by the European Union to combat youth unemployment. That money could be leveraged and
used as guarantees to raise up to 10 times more in loans, said the report.

"It would be conceivable to establish a link between credit conditions and the creation of jobs and training opportunities" by companies that take the loans, EIB President Werner Hoyer was quoted as telling the newspaper.

He said Germany's so-called dual system of formal education and on-the-job training could be introduced in southern Europe, and the Erasmus university exchange programme widened to non-academic training, the report said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

BUSINESS

Unemployment in France falls slightly despite the lockdown

Unemployment in France has fallen slightly, despite the ongoing ravages of the health crisis and consequent lockdown, latest statistics show.

Unemployment in France falls slightly despite the lockdown
Photo: Stephane du Sakatin/AFP

The number of unemployed job seekers in mainland France fell by 0.4 percent in the first three months of 2021, according to figures published by the French Ministry of Labour on Tuesday.

There were 3,560,600 unemployed registered at the Pôle Emploi (unemployment office), 12,200 fewer than during the last three months of 2020.

This follows a 2.7 percent fall in the final three months of 2020 – but the rate is still up 6.8 percent compared with the first three months of 2020, before Europe began to feel the economic impact of the Covid pandemic.

Currently all ‘non essential’ shops in France have been closed since April 3rd, while bars, restaurants, cafés, gyms, cinemas, theatres, museums and tourist sites have been closed since October 2020.

Despite the fall the total number of job seekers, the number of people who were in work but with reduced hours was up by 0.8 percent at the start of 2021, to 2,156,300.

That means that in total 5,716,900 people in mainland France were registered with Pôle emploi during this period, an increase of 4.9 percent compared with a year ago.

“Over the course of 2020, in one year, unemployment rose by 8 percent. This is obviously a lot, but we must remember that during the crisis of 2008-2009, unemployment leapt by 25 percent, so we can see that the government assistance is working,” Minister of Labour Élisabeth Borne told BFMTV on Tuesday.

The French government has put together a huge package of economic aid to try and mitigate the effects of the repeated lockdowns, from chômage partiel (furlough) schemes for employees to aid packages for business owners and the self-employed. But many small retailers have been hit hard by the three periods of closure for non-essential shops, while the tourist, leisure and hospitality sectors have also had a devastating year.

The economic downturn linked to the pandemic has disproportionately affected young people in France.  Across all categories of job seekers (unemployed and with reduced hours), the latest figures show a rise of 7.1 percent in a year for those under 25, compared to 4.5 percent for the 25-29 age range, and 4.8 percent for those aged 50 and over.

Men are also more likely to have signed up to Pôle emploi, with a 6.1 percent increase on last year, compared to a 3.8 percent increase among women.

SHOW COMMENTS