Endorsing the OECD’s Action Plan for Youth at the OECD’s annual Ministerial Meeting in Paris in May 2013, ministers underlined the need to focus attention on the most disadvantaged youth. Ensuring employment success for young people is a policy issue of particular relevance locally. Barriers preventing young people from successful transition into employment are often multifaceted in nature and responses need to come from a wide array of policy areas. It is at the local level that government policies can be integrated and combined with place-based initiatives to provide multidimensional responses to complex problems.
Timely support for young unemployed is essential for a smooth transition into the labour market. The first youth guarantees (measures that reduce the time a young person spends not in employment, education or training) were introduced by the Nordic European countries in 1980s and 1990s. Similar programmes to reduce the inactivity period of youth have been put in place more recently in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, and more European countries will be introducing similar measures following Youth Guarantee Recommendation agreed by the EU's Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers in February 2013.
In 2013 and 2014, following up on its earlier work on Local Youth Employment Strategies, the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme has undertaken a review of the implementation of youth guarantee in 8 European countries to identify key conditions and success factors and provide a set of practical policy recommendations relevant to national and local policy makers and practitioners. The final report: Local Implementation of Youth Guarantees: Emerging Lessons from European Experiences (doc) has been presented at the 10th Annual Meeting of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Development in Stockholm, Sweden on 24-25 April 2014.